September 28, 2011 - 11:00AM
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Testing. There's nothing.
Okay. Hello, everyone. Welcome to the workshop. Over the next, around 90 minutes, we will be having a panel discussion around the topic of digital citizenship, what does it actually means? Which aspects does it cover? And we'll try to discuss is there a need for some kind of charter of children's and young people's rights online?
Over the last years, several proposals for different types of cyber charters were put forward, though in none of them seems to be enough recognition of the fact that the growing part of users online are our children and young people who have different needs and require different approaches than the adult audience.
Children and young people no longer make a distinction between the real world and the Internet world. How do we equip young people with skills and knowledge and other understanding before they actually start engaging and actively participating online, especially now in the mobile era where internet use is getting much more privatized and many problematic issues young people simply have to deal with on their own.
In this session, we are having eight panelists from a variety of sectors. So that's truly a multistakeholder as the IGF itself. I propose each of you starts with short statement presenting your organization's perspective on the topic and maybe examples of your work. And I propose that each of you has no longer than seven minutes and please try to stick to that time, because we also want to give opportunity to the audience to engage with us.
And before you start, I will introduce you briefly and I suggest that we go in this order. So we have John Carr from eNASCO who is expert advisor to eNASCO's executive board and Secretary of UK's Children Charities College on Internet Safety.
And then we have Ann Collier, from Connect Safely.
And then we have our next guest, Rita Munyae. He provides quality psychological support to children and other callers. We have Janice Richardson a senior advisor at a consortium of 30 Ministers of Education, and INSAFE Network. Anjan Bose, who with ECPAT. Brian O'Neil from the Dublin Institute of Technology, who leads for social media research and policy.
And Cornelia Kutterer who is the Director of Regulatory Policy for Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa, responsible for security and data access governance issues as well as child safety and consumer policies.
John, could you please start with your statement?
>> JOHN CARR: Okay. Good morning. Great to see you all here, and I'm very glad to be here myself, in beautiful Nairobi. My first ever visit to Kenya. You know how terrible I am at time keeping, so I will rely on you to wave at me when I have about two minutes left, which should be in about two minute's time given the length of the introduction.
Picking up on the report that Agnieszka talked about, this is 10 Internet rights and principles be published by the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition. It uses extremely fine language. It's beautifully written. The only thing it absolutely fails to mention at any point, is the rights of children.
It assumes, as everybody does or tends to do when these matters are discussed, that everybody who is an Internet user is of average intelligence, average education, average eyesight, average hearing, average dexterity, average literacy ‑‑ in other words ‑‑ and of average levels of judgment and so on.
In other words, what we are addressing when we are addressing the new technology, in the minds of most of the people who discussed this subject regularly, is that we are dealing with an adult world of people of broadly ‑‑ broadly fit within a given paradigm, and that may have been true at one point. It may have been the case when the net was still being essentially only used in the academic research community, when it was only used by big business, in other words, before it became what it is today.
It may have been true that all of the Internet users fitted into that kind of description of what an Internet user, what a new technology user was, but today we know that absolutely is not the case. We know it because today the Internet is such a pervasive technology, at least in the developed world.
It more or less reflects what society is, and we know within society, therefore lots of people who haven't got a reasonable level of education, haven't got a reasonable level of literacy or numeracy. They may have poor eyesight or poor hearing. We are not talking about, you know, absolutely marginal, small, tiny numbers. Although, by the way, even if we were, we would still have to recognize that and deal with it. We can't simply say, oh, they are too small of a group to worry about. Every human being has got rights.
Actually, the truth is, the number of people who don't fit in that standard paradigm, the 80% Bell curve, however you want to call it, the number of people who fall outside of those categories are substantial. Bear in mind also when we have ‑‑ we have a saying in English ‑‑ I don't know if translates very well, but in English, there's a saying "you have got lies, damn lies and statistics."
Okay? And statistics can conceal more than they reveal, because when you see, you know, oh, only 1% have got X problem or only 1.5% have got this problem or this difficult, actually when you are talking about the Internet, you are talking about gigantic numbers of people. You know, in a population of the UK, 60 million people, 1% is about 600,000 human beings. So this is not ‑‑ these are not insignificant or insubstantial numbers of people and we have to, as we are developing our thinking in this space and I'm very aware that we are not quite at the ground floor because there's been quite a bit of thinking done in this area, but we are almost at the ground floor of thinking about how we are going to tackle this in the public policy space.
And, of course, one of the groups, one of the very large groups that doesn't fit into that paradigm of well ‑‑ or reasonably educated, reasonably literate, reasonable blah, blah, blah, is children and young people. Very substantial numbers of children and young people fall outside of that group, and yet they are also disproportionately one of the larger users of the Internet. So I don't have ‑‑ let me be clear, I do not have a finished view on this ‑‑ on this question. I am very humble and conscious of the fact that this is not a new area of debate and discussion. I'm not suggesting that the whole of the Internet has to be locked down in a way that means that everything ‑‑ the whole of the Internet does not have to be constructed in such a way that it's only fit for children to use. That would be a ridiculous and stupid thing to say.
I do think it is self‑evident to me that in a lot of the thinking and a lot of the discussions that we have about people's rights, about States' rights. You sometimes get the feeling that in the discussions you take part in, that the only thing that matters when you discuss how the Internet is set up, is whether the government of Belarus can use this particular thing or that mar thing to deprive its citizens of this piece of information or that piece of information. And I ‑‑ of course, that isn't important how you set out your approach to rights and responsibilities has to take those sort of big political questions into being. There's quite a lot more to the Internet than political struggle. There's more to the Internet than simply how is it going to help this or that oppressive regime to keep the truth from its people, or censor this or that.
Parents who want to teach their children to spell use the Internet. Moms and dads who want to get their shopping deliver use the Internet. So there's that spectrum of concerns to take into account. We can't reduce every conversation and every debate about rights and responsibilities in relation to the Internet to being simply a Titanic struggle between the forces of darkness and the forces of light, where political freedom or slavery ‑‑ you know, you are either going to be a free person or a slave. It isn't like that. It's much more nuanced. It's much more layered and complicated and I think children and young people's rights and so on, in particular, are part of the casualty of that debate.
And let's not forget, children are rights holders. Children and young people don't have to ask governments to do this or that for them because there are nice or kind. They have rights for every country in the world has signed up to, either by directly signing the U.N. Convention on the rights of child or by adopting children conventions or through international customary law, these are legal rights. These are not things that children or young people need to beg for. These are things which the states are obliged to do.
And so even ‑‑ you know, I think this is a wonderful document, don't get me wrong, but I wish it had acknowledged at least the obligations of states, the obligations of the industry, the obligation of all of us to protect and enhance the position of the children, and we do that not because we want to restrict anybody else's freedoms or liberties or anything of the kind but because we recognize the special and vulnerable and particular position of children.
Now, when it comes down to it, by the way, on the specifics of citizenship, I don't see very much difference at all between the kinds of things we would want to teach young people and children about the Internet and life in general. We want to teach children to respect other people's rights, other people's points of view. We want them to be kind to each other and not horrible and mean and bullying. These are the things we teach them and always taught our children. We want to transfer that same sense of obligations to participate in democratic processes. That's part of our task as the adult world to pass on to children and young people as well. And, of course, in doing that, we have to make children and young people a central part of the dialogue.
My kids told me a long time ago that I know nothing and I have accepted that. So I must listen to them. And I do listen to them, but I know sometimes when they ask for that extra bottle of whiskey or extra bottle of wine, I must exercise is judgment as well. The children and young people have to be part of the dialogue.
If we don't have them as part of the dialogue, we will be missing the target. We have our role to play too, governments and industry as well. Seven minutes, bang on! Done. Thank you.
>> ANN COLLIER: I'm impressed, John. I'm with an NGO in Silicon Valley, California, called connectsafely.org. We are a youth advocacy, more than an Internet safety organization, but we are very involved in Internet safety. We wrote the Parent's Guide to Facebook, which has been translated into a number of languages and we are members of the Facebook Advisory Board and talk to a number of other great companies, social media companies.
So even though I come from the youth online safety context, in no way do I feel that digital citizenship is just about youth or Internet safety or even just digital. I do believe, though, that digital citizenship is key to youth safety online going forward. And here's why. It's protective. It's not just a nice idea or theory. It's not just a luxury. The first research I found was published in the medical journal "Archived of Pediatrics" which reported that aggressive behavior online more than doubles the aggressor's risk online. So civil respectful behavior, I think, it follows or what we often call good citizenship lowers risk, increases individuals' well being and well functioning online community. And I will come back to the behavior aspect of digital citizenship in a minute.
But the evidence is growing, the research evidence. For a long time, in the Internet safety field, in keeping with the consumed media or mass media environment that we adults grew up in, adults have been representing youth largely as passive potential victims online rather than active participants or agents of change in the world. When we learned in the last decade that cyber bullying was the most common risk to online youth, many of us based our safety messaging on a control model, rather than an agency model, a participatory model. And, you know, it was the idea that controlling their behavior or helping them control themselves and protect themselves, if you will, be their own best protectors was their means to safety.
So what researchers at the Harvard University School of Education found is that youth feel a lack of efficacy online. We now see the need for youth agency. Young people will be safer online when they know they can help each other, and make a difference in online spaces, when they and their parents and teachers and other caregivers see their online experiences as consequential, as important, not just a waste of time or pure entertainment, or competition for homework.
Citizenship is now coming into the foreground here. Do you see? Then the risk prevention community just recently picked up on some important findings from Dr. Ian Rivers at Brunel University. In a study of bullying situations, he observed it's not just victims who feel powerless, but even the bullies and the bystanders or witnesses feel a sense of powerlessness in bullying incidents. He reported that "suicide risk may be a facet of students' belief that they cannot change the school environment."
So it's not online bullying or offline bullying that leads to suicidal thoughts necessarily. It could be that feeling of helplessness or powerlessness that needs to be avoided.
So you are hearing this theme, right, of empowerment, versus powerlessness. What I'm seeing in the research is that more than a decade of messaging from the online safety field has had the opposite effect intended. When we characterize youth as powerless or potential victims and their Internet use as inconsequential, unimportant, we increase risk online. I ‑‑ I also find in my own experience talking with young people, that they aren't interested in being portrayed as potential victims, that they, the supposed beneficiaries of our victim messaging tune it out. And we just read in an op ed piece in the "New York Times" by Dana Boyd and Alice Marwick that teenagers want to see themselves in control of their own lives. This is their duty. This is their process of development.
We are in effect alienating them with the very messaging that's intended to change their behavior. So we at Connect Safely feel there is a great need to move from Internet safety to an agency model, empowering youth as active participants, citizens, stakeholders in their own, each other's and their community's well being online and on all network devices. This progressive step is needed for two reasons, safe kids and I safe, well governed Internet, the most user driven space humans have ever populated and a space where a large percentage of the drivers are youth.
So just a few key aspects of digital citizenship, parts of the definition I have picked up on in my research and reading the research over the past couple of years, it might be useful for a discussion here. The first is social and community activism, what we saw in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East and continue to see. The second one is norms of behavior. Some call it good citizenship, or etiquette, that seems to be a component of digital citizenship and there's no complete consensus on this, right?
In my country, or I think anywhere.
The third one is rights or responsibilities, what comes to a lot of our minds when we think about citizenship. And then the fourth one is a sense of membership or belonging and the fifth is something I gathered in Luxembourg at the safer Internet forum a couple of years ago, three literacies that I think really quite well sum up digital citizenship.
Media literacy, tech or digital literacy and social literacy. There's a fantastic new research center in Australia, Amanda Third and Philip Colin or about to issue a paper on digital citizenship. I got to see an early draft and I'm building on their fine work.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Thank you and let's move now to our colleagues.
>> RITA MUNYAE: Hello, my name is Rita Munyae, and I work for an organization called Childline Kenya. It's in the child rights sector and we ran a hotline, which is a toll‑free number and children can reach to us, they can call and report abuse and receive counseling. We have other forms of communication that children can also reach us. Most recently we launched a chat page on our web site, and by the end of this year, we will be launching the SMS service where children can reach to us.
Now, I attended this ‑‑ I attended some workshops yesterday and what's clear from this forum is that ‑‑ is the digital divide between the developed world and the developing world, because as ‑‑ as Kenyans, what we are doing is just entering into a ‑‑ into an area whereby we are realizing that our children are at risk, and they need empowerment. They need to be coached on how to be safe online, and for the last ten years, the government of Kenya has been interested in increasing connectivity ‑‑ Internet connectivity across the country, but we never really thought of the risks that come with it, not just for children, but all the online Internet users. That's why in May this year, the communication commission of Kenya which is the body, the government body that is tasked with regulating communications in Kenya hosted a multistakeholder workshop, which brought all stakeholders in the country that would have interest in protecting children in the cyberspace.
And it was basically to just scratch the surface and identify if we really have a problem or not, and some of the action points that we came up with that there is a need for awareness creation, that so many children are having access to the Internet in Kenya through the mobile phone. The Internet has become so cheap, and with 10 shillings, I can access the Internet all day and children are buying Smart Phones and one thing is you don't really need a SmartPhone in Kenya. Any phone, literally you can access the Internet and chat. And so that has become an issue in the country, because the children are engaging with each other, and they don't have the skills, the Internet skills that they need to communicate with each other safely. They are not defined risks in the country on what constitutes on crimes for children, what it is that children need to be aware of, and what ‑‑ how the government can come in.
The laws in the country are also quite scattered. We have the Children's Act that talks about protecting children from all forms of abuse and that's coined from the Geneva Convention of Children's Rights and we have the ICT laws that are touching on this sector and how the users in that sector can be protected, however there's no collaborative ‑‑ there's no comprehensive legal ‑‑ legal framework that addresses Internet safety for children in the country. And those are some of the issues that we have been discussing in the country.
And a Childline Kenya is part of the child protection. We are very interested in protecting the children in the cyberspace. So we developed a program that is aimed at educating parents and children because most parents in Kenya are not aware of the dangers their children are facing. They keep on buying children phones but they don't know what it means for the child to be in the Internet. Most of these children ‑‑ the parents are protecting them basically from watching television and allowing them to use the computers and their phones to access Internet without realizing that in the Internet, there's also equal harm that's equivalent to the television.
So as a country, we are just making the baby steps into this topic of child online protection, which I believe by the next three years we will have come up with comprehensive research that will identify the needs in the country, in terms of protecting our children and young people, and we come up with strategies on how to go forward in educating children.
As Childline Kenya, we already have systems in place, the help line, is one currently that children can reach out to and be counseled, be given advice. We have taken ‑‑ we have invested in training all counselors at the helpline in child online protection. So should they call with any relevant advice. We work with the public administration in the country with legal funds. So although there are not clear laws about how to go about addressing any case of abuse in the Internet, then it will be ‑‑ it will be easier to approach our partners and together we can possibly get some type of justice in courts.
Yeah, Kenya is way behind but we are trying to catch up with the rest of the world. Thank you.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: David, did you also want to comment? So maybe your comments for later, because we still have five panelists.
>>> DAVID: Maybe a comment I will say, there was one organization that did some little study trying to find out the magnitude of abuse in this country, but it was a very small sample that did not bring the full picture of what is occurring in the country. One of the way forward should be how can we do a study to really understand what is happening, so we know how we can intervene and protect children online. The only way we can intervene is if we know what the magnitude of the problem. Is it was only based in Nairobi. So it was a very small sample.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Thank you. Janice.
>> JANICE RICHARDSON: Yes, good morning, everyone, and thank you very much for the very warm welcome that we have had here in Kenya. I'm going to pick up on one of Agnieszka's questions. How do we equip young people with the skills they need to learn to exercise their rights and their responsibilities as citizens in today's information and knowledge society? And they can learn this through three ways. First of all, the socialization process at school. Secondly, by learning about human rights, and thirdly, by practicing human rights.
So just let's look from the educational perspective, because this, I think, is one of the ‑‑ one of the sectors that is not enough present at the IGF. Socialization is the key role of the school. Children go to school not only to learn literacy, but also to be socialized into the world of today. This includes social literacy, cultural literacy, all the literacies, but above all, it's to understand what the society is. And we have seen and we are very disappointed to see that in kindergarten we don't hear a word about today's society. It is the same curriculum as we had about 50 years ago, 40 years ago where my children were at kindergarten.
So what we have done here and we were asked to give examples of good practice is work with psychologists and teachers to develop something called play and learn being online. We invite you to our stand to have a look at it, because it really does help teachers socialize the children into today's society and understand their rights and responsibilities. Secondly, learning about human rights and citizenships. A few years ago, I went around to teachers, to understand how many knew what the fundamental human rights are. Very, very few even understand this and can name their rights.
Then I asked about the children's rights, and there it's even rarer to find someone who understands it. So in response to another point raised by Agnieszka, I don't think we need another charter of rights because no one reads them. What we need on the other hand are tools so that teachers, parents, young people, can really integrate human rights. Here I would like to underline a publication from the Council of Europe, called the Internet Literacy Handbook. Every aspect of using technology is ‑‑ we highlight the ethical risks, the responsibilities and the human rights at stake. The Council of Europe has bill on this and just two years ‑‑ has built on this and just two years ago to celebrate the 60th anniversary.
There was a guide book written for teachers on teaching about human rights in the classroom through a wonderful game called "Through the Worldwide Web Woods." When we look today, they spent more time in the virtual community than they do in the real life community. And for them, in fact, the two are a total blend. Social media tools are very important places where young people spend their time, and yet they have been blocked from the classroom. So here we would like to see much more use of these tools in the classrooms so young people can really learn how to master their rights and responsibilities in the online world, there where they meet their peers but also it should be a place where there are adults, parents, grandparents, because it's really important if you are going to understand your rights and responsibilities to connect generations and really let young people understand the perspective of other people.
I think that what we are talking about is literate, resilient young people who are able to function as citizens, and here I think we need to empower them through literacy, through positive experiences, and a positive environment at home and at school, but also young people need to be proactive, support their peers, learn and be able to evaluate risk online. Be totally aware of the risk and the opportunities and that's the way they reach resilience and become true citizens in today's world.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Thank you, Janice. Let's move on now to Anjan an then Brian.
>> ANJAN BOSE: Thank you very much. I come from ECPAT International. We are an international child protection agency, primarily focused on combatting sexual exploitation of children around the world, and our work is grounded on principles of human rights, children's rights, you know, it's grounded on UNRC, and as John mentioned in his opening speech, it's one of the cornerstones where we ‑‑ all the work that's being done, the discussions that we are having, it plays a huge role.
In terms of, you know, I have gone through some of the points that you have listed here and I think we can talk about all of the points which we wouldn't have time today, but I want to pick on something that we have observed to the work carried out by ECPAT International around the world. The first key point I want to make here is that in terms of the ideas that we present on digital citizenship, it's ‑‑ it can not generalize things. First of all, the understanding of technology, the understanding, even of human rights varies so widely from, you know, west to east and in developing countries and developed countries. And that's also impact seriously on how we approach, how we create content, how we do the messaging for children and young people.
In terms of the balance between their rights and their right to protection, because, you know, as young people, they have rights to access information, and, you know, in this Internet era, every individual has a right to access information. Now, how that is impacted by other factors. You know, they want to have the same level of access. As people who are trying to offend, you know, for example, when we do our messaging on education and awareness, we keep telling people, keep telling people an young people, these are not good for you. These are probably risky. Do you evaluate ‑‑ do we come back and see how they feel about it, whether they have the same feeling?
Now, again, keeping to the education and awareness aspect, we think that's okay. If we teach people how to behave online, if they are not into ‑‑ they are not distracted by the illegal content and so on, we are doing enough. But what we are missing here is the whole protection framework. You know, how are we keeping them away from offenders? Offenders are continuously trying to reach them, even though they are fully away. We have studies that points that they almost are inclined to challenge the offenders. They want to take that risk, fully aware what the consequences are. That's one element.
The other aspect that I want to highlight that I mentioned yesterday in the session, are we reaching every target? Through these messages that we are developing, how do we make sure it's reaching all the stakeholders? In some cases, they are perpetrating violence against children. If we teach ‑‑ if we assume that this educational system will be able to combat the risk, these children are not even going to schools but it's ‑‑ that's the interesting thing here. They are not going to schools but they are using ICTs. They are being affected by ICTs at home. Their parents are using ICTs to offend or to, you know, kind of make use of their children, sell their children, and make money out of it. These are things that I want to point out.
You know, it kind of breaks the tradition, you know, that line of discussions we are having now in terms of children's rights but I wanted to highlight these issues as well.
In terms of you know, again coming back to their rights, I just wanted to mention a case study here. I did a study back in Thailand a year ago. We had few schools who participated, and I was stunned to see the schools have very different approach. They come from the same city in the north of Thailand, they were all kind of in the neighborhood but they had so different policies. Some schools would not allow children to use mobile phones.
Some schools would allow during lunchtime. Some would not allow any social networks to be accessed. Some schools would have no clue what social networks are. I mean, that's a bit of exaggeration, but that's how the situation is, and when we are talking about children's rights and framing, you know, their behavior, we need to have participatory approach from children. That's what we found out from the work around the world that we need it include children in this design of the program and not necessarily directly engaging them with the policy makers.
I think there's a process whereby they can fit into the design of the programs that matter to them, that influence them, and then maybe have a system that will definitely have this thing percolated to the policy makers. I think that's one key statement from us. In terms of ‑‑ as Agnieszka said, I have two minutes. I won be complete in my statement if we don't touch about the privacy issues. We feel children have rights to privacy as well. Some of the work that's been carried out internationally, you know, we have the freedom of speech and the freedom of, you know, expression lobbying for more freedom, more privacy, but we are ‑‑ are we including children in there? Are their freedom and privacy being respected? I think that's a question here I want to raise.
And in all the deliberations at the IGF, I think that's a very key issue, you know, one of the foundations that will probably made us to the next step.
I would close my speech by saying unless we are all cognizant as John said, we don't want to create a separate world that's locked down for children, considering the protection, but I think we need to strike a fine balance between ensuring their protection and privacy of adults and freedom of ‑‑ you know, expression of adults. That's a different and challenging area but we need to talk more about that. Thank you, Agnieszka.
>> BRIAN O'NEIL: Good morning, everyone. Brian O'Neil is my name. I'm representing EU Kids Online, a research network funded under the European Commission's Safe internet Program. Thank you to Agnieszka for the invitation to participate in this panel and thank you for the opportunity to speak here.
In ‑‑ in terms of the theme of this discussion, one of the aspects of children's rights that I would really like to put forward is children's rights to be heard and I foreground this for a particular reason. I think in the broad discussion that we're having around protection, around identifying the kinds of risks that children may encounter and looking at the possible opportunities that they can enjoy, what we really need is knowledge of children's experiences and the reality of the context in which they live and ‑‑ and I suppose learn every day with the Internet very much pervasive in their lives and this is as John set out in the opening. And that is the context for EU Kids Online. As a project, it just completed a two‑year study. The largest such study in Europe of children and it was based on home interviews with children themselves.
Because the evidence base was so patchy, prior to that as a group of researchers right across 25 countries in Europe, we tried to assess and assimilate the available evidence, and it was contradictory. It was very uneven. Some countries had done quite a lot of research, others really had not. But within that policy decisions were being made, questions about what kinds of messages should be developed and addressed, and identification of the kinds of dangers that children may face, but often without the actual knowledge from children themselves.
So in that spirit, our research is really important. Full credit to the EU for identifying the evidence base as hugely important to the policy formation process itself. So that's what I mean by children having the right to be heard and we represent that through research and through evidence. I'm not really presenting all of the findings of this, but EUkids.net is our web site, with all the reports and data on that. Indeed copies of the report are available at one of the booths here.
What evidence can now do is help us to dispel some of the myths and assumptions by which a decade of policy in this space has operated and I think it is a contribution towards wiser policy making. That's evidence informed, that we know the kinds of disparity and the unevenness in terms of children's experiences and that we can better address resources towards helping them gain more from the Internet, certainly protect them better, but enhance their opportunities for learning growth and development and that is the broader context of, I think, children's rights in which children can have a flourishing life online and offline.
Among the kinds of themes that the data, I suppose, is pointing towards and where we see new policy developments and new policy implications, one of them, certainly is to shatter the assumption that digital natives now have all the supports that they need, that online policy has been sufficiently developed that these are there. Clearly not there's no substantial evidence to show that children are not adequately supported. They don't always have the skills and increase that they don't always have the supports in the places where we would most expect them and that can be at home, in school, and, indeed from the very service providers that ‑‑ that they consume on a day‑to‑day basis.
Also in terms of what we call the ladder of opportunities, the Internet is a great window for a host of opportunities, and it is a letter by which children can ascend by developing new skills and opening into a new learning environment, but we find children across Europe, rarely get off the first rung of this ladder. They are still at very basic levels of usage and, you know, this is a real barrier in terms of harnessing the potential that we know is really there and there are many good examples and practices that we need to learn from, that but equally we know there's great unevennesses in that also.
In terms of the many recommendations we have made in our final report, and I have some copies of this. One we very much do ground is digital citizenship and this is in the context that given the maturity of the Internet, and the fact that it is such a prevalent and pervasive feature of life right across the planet, we can't simply and solely always protect children. We can't provide them with a cloak of protection, externally. And digital citizenship ‑‑ (No audio).
>> I have a very diverse policy, child online, and human rights and between human rights and child safety, there's some interesting tensions from time to time between the groups. I would also like to say that I'm a mother of three children. I think that's an important point to make. They are very young. Five, three, and three and my 5‑year‑old just recently explained to me how I will pull on the video on my mobile phone to give a little bit of literacy and put it in perspective. A general point on how Microsoft addresses online safety. As last speaker, I will take the time to respond to what a heard.
So as a technology company, we obviously concentrate on those things we think we know best and that is providing tools to make children safer but tools alone is obviously not the only thing that is important. So we have basically three pillars on what ‑‑ on which we base our child online safety engagement that is providing tools, education to careers, children, parents, teachers, as well as engaging in the policy, in the line ‑‑ engaging with law enforcement and or government roles, and NGOs in order to enhance child online safety.
This said, I was encouraged by a number of comments that I heard, the recognition between ‑‑ a balance between the control approach, versus the empowerment approach, in order to keep children safe and I'm also pleased that our own research has already been mentioned, which is Dana Boyd, would has published new research and how children actually treat the offenses they experience online and it's just interesting that they refer to them as drama to not be victimized by those threats, and that is their mechanism to deal with it.
I agree the research around children is absolutely necessary for policy makers to be able to understand how respond. There is a tendency in policy making to come to quick wins which, might not necessarily be beneficial to consumers. We have a discussion in Europe around these things which might not necessarily support child safety at the very end of the day but it might also endanger them and ‑‑ and I can mention as an example privacy but I'm happy to go into that example a little bit more in detail during the discussion.
More generally, obviously in Europe, there's a very specific by the European Commissioner, I think you heard the commissioner open that in her opening speech and that in her Internet essentials, that they's currently debating, child safety actually plays a role, and it ‑‑ just a personal remark on that. It's interesting that this group is not feeding into the freedom security privacy openness main session, but actually in a diversity access in order to get this balance maybe for the next IGF, whoever can push that this comes into the same ‑‑ into the same category and that will actually help advancing a child's right and child online safety.
If Europe, we do have a definition for children, how they should be expected. We have the reasonably informed individual, and that's referring back to what John was saying. And vulnerable consumers on the contrary are defined by specific descriptions. Age is one of them. I was ‑‑ I very much agree with my colleague on how do we actually balance the access and protection and how do we balance the control of parents versus the rights of privacy of kids. These are all very difficult questions and I think one thing I haven't heard in the debate so far in how to approach that is the age appropriateness. So there's actually also differences in ‑‑ my computer rings. Sorry for that.
There is a difference whether you deal with a 17‑year‑old on the Internet versus a 5‑year‑old, like my son, and the ‑‑ a lot of the U.N. and global children's rights do not reflect on that.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Thank you to all panelists. I think we heard really a wealth of ideas that could be taken for further discussion. One of the points that I particularly liked was when Ann mentioned that digital citizenship is key to youth safety. How I understand is that many risks can be avoided but by helping children and young people develop a strong sense of digital citizenship. So if they have enough knowledge, skills, they have also better chances of avoiding risky situations and better understand how to protect their privacy and so on.
We now have around 30 minutes for further discussion and I would like to open the floor to the audience for any comments and responses to the panelists' statements. Yes.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Uta Kroll, I'm with a digital foundation in Germany. As we are talking about digital citizenship, I would like to point out to you a small online debate we have put up in March this year asking children and parents as well what they think, which are the rights of the children and which are the duties of the parents. So we got within one week about 1,000 children answering to our questions. Less from the parents, but around 1,000 of the children. And what they said was, for example, more than 80% of the children claims their right of privacy of correspondence, and 76% said they were happy that their parents do not know exactly what they are doing online, while on the other hand, more than half of the parents said they would like to know what their children are doing online, whom they are communicating with, and what they are communicating about.
So there is a conflict of interest between the children's rights and the parent's duties and this is not only a question of empowerment of the children and education, it's also kind of a legal question and it's different in the different countries. We don't have the right of privacy of correspondence in all countries in the same situation. So we also have to talk about this how we have to solve these tensions and solve this for parents and children as well. Thank you.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Thank you. I would suggest we gather a couple of comments from the audience and then give a chance to the panelists to respond.
Yes, gentleman in the back.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm Willy Maggot, Ann's partner at Connect Safely. I'm so pleased to see so much more of this this year, but I was thinking as I was listening not only to this panel but an earlier presentation that what if instead of this being the Internet Governance Forum, this were the Football Governance Forum and we were talking about the game of football. I have a feeling that about 80% of the workshops would be how to play better football and how to enjoy football more, how parents can encourage children to be better football players and have more fun playing football and there would be the assumption, that when you play football, you play by the rules and wear the necessary equipment and you treat your teammates and opponents respectfully. Yet why is it when we talk about the Internet Governance Forum, we have to have workshops on child protection, one that Anjan and I will be participating in on Friday. Why do we have to focus so much on safety?
They have been using the technology day in and day out for most of their lives and for the most part they have not experienced harm. Of course, they have experienced risk. I experience risk when I got in the taxi this morning. In fact, I experienced a very large risk driving through the roads of Nairobi and we experience risk every time we take a breath of air and every time we have done anything. They have not experienced significant harm.
I'm wondering when we look at digital citizenship and I applaud any colleague Ann and John and others about empowering young people, but risk is an element of the Internet as it is in all of life, but for the most part, this is not a particularly overwhelmingly dangerous endeavor that young people are engaged?
>> ANN COLLIER: One of the important points in EU Kids online, there's a difference between risk and harm and I think we need to remember that. Risk is not the same as harm, and actually one of the primary tasks of adolescent development is risk assessment and we can't ‑‑ we would be stunting their brain development if we try to remove all risk from their lives. They need to figure that out on their own to some extent.
The other thing I wanted to say about risk is we do have a large and growing substantial body of research now on youth online risk and thankfully it's in both North America and Europe and I'm only aware of the English language research. Outstanding data that I recommend to developing countries to look at. They need to gather their own data, but for establishing policy or any programs, but don't ‑‑ don't reinvent the wheel entirely. There's really fine research that can at least give you useful questions and guidance in developing your own research.
And some of that is ‑‑ at EU Kids Online. A complete review of the literature in North America in 2009 showed us, and this I think is a really important point, is that not all youth are equally at risk online. And I think Anjan really spoke to that. There are kids who are greatly at risk and, actually, what we are finding is it's the kids most at risk offline who are most at risk online. So‑called at‑risk youth. We used to call them runaways. They came from places of conflict and there's a lot of correlation with family conflict, and so on and so on.
The other thing that we have found in the review of the literature, the child's home makeup is a greater predictor of the Internet usage. Their Internet use is embedded in real life, and their families and their family's values and their family's situations and conditions. So, you know, I think we are getting smarter about youth risk online.
To Larry's point, you know, let's focus on the kids who really need support and we are moving more into a public health model. We are looking at risk prevention practitioners and psychologists and school counselors and mental healthcare professionals helping young people who are at risk.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Now, I saw a few hands in the back. Yes, comments?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I want to follow Larry's football analogy, because ‑‑ I come from England, and that's where the best football is played. Not that version that they play on the other side of the Atlantic. But in England, in our football situation, we have a committee that expressly deals with how to reduce violence on the pitch. We have a committee that expressly deals with how to reduce racism and the experience of racism in and around the game of football. We have a committee that also discusses how to make the rules better and fairer and how to improve the game.
So even though football is universally loved and universally ‑‑ or almost. My wife is one of the few exceptions, I should say. But even though football is universally loved or almost universally loved and participated in, in the United Kingdom, there are definitely bits of the game and bits of what go on which are very bad, very undesirable and we focus on trying to solve them. And it's the same also with the Internet.
Now, why do we talk about child protection here? Where else are we going to talk about it? We are not here as an extension of the marketing arms of Google, Microsoft and the big Internet companies. We are here to focus on the bits that need fixing, the bits that don't normally get talked about anywhere else. This does not mean ‑‑ absolutely does not mean that the only thing I ever talk about in the world is how dangerous and dark the Internet is. Absolutely the opposite. My song is a song of literation. My song is a long about the possibilities of what technology can do for children and young people, how it can enrich their lives but I refuse, absolutely refuse to blind myself willingly and deliberately and pretend that everything is fine for everybody. It isn't. The biggest thing that's wrong is actually not enough kids have got not enough access. I want to see every kid accessing the Internet, every kid having the opportunities that my children have, and the children in the west have. I want them to do it safely and if we, the children's advocates aren't talking about who is going to do it, it ain't going to come from Silicon Valley, you can be sure of that. Rather it will, but only because we are there and part of the discussion and the dialogue as well. We are not a rah rah group for high‑tech industries.
Children's rights and privacy in the United Kingdom ‑‑ I'm finishing on this point and this is a position I completely agree with. A child theoretically has the right to privacy from the second they are born. Their rights to privacy, their rights to confidentiality are not ‑‑ they are not contingent rights. They don't depend upon their parents granting them that right. Now in practice, and now this is what our law says, the child can only exercise those rights when it has sufficient intelligence and capacity and capability to do so. So up until that point, parents, of course, have to have that responsibility and that engagement. So one of the very practical consequences of that was when the mobile phone industry introduced tracking services in the United Kingdom, what they said expressly in the contracts that you had to enter into, to track your child using that mobile phone.
Irrespective of the age of the child, so a 3‑year‑old, 5‑year‑old, 7‑year‑old, a 17‑year‑old, if the child with drew their consent from being tracked, it stopped immediately. It reflected the child's absolute right to privacy, but in practice, of course, how it works out in particular situations can vary a lot, but the principle is clear. Children have the right to privacy, which can trump their parents' rights in many instances.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Okay. Thank you, John. And now I invite a comment from the participant in the back, yes.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Tim Davies from Fact 2. I have several brief points. It's dis appointing not to see young people on the panel and it would be really good to make sure that panelists.
>> ANN COLLIER: Later today, there will be a youth on the panel on digital citizenship.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: We should ensure all panels regardless of talking about youth or not, should seek to enclose young people on the panel. I'm dis appointed to see that.
On the issue of participation as well torque focus on Brian's point on research, research is key to have the insight in young people's lives but we must employ young people as researchers. I would encourage young people helping us to understand. This.
The other three substantive points. One, we often sees the right to privacy and we think that they are pulling us in different directions. We see these things at mutually reinforcing where we work for the provision to create safe spaces and we get young people designing and creating the spaces that they can enjoy and realize rights to speak up, rights to have played. And so we should see these not as intentions but mutually reinforcing.
It leads to the point, that to create a charter of rights, distinct from the committee on the rights of child and the convention of the rights of child, I think would be a negative step. We should be seeking to work through that existing established framework, challenging the committee on the rights of child in their special sessions to have a deeper dialogue about these issues not just rights to safety but how all rights need to be realized in the digital realm.
Finally, I wanted to pick up on Larry's challenges what are the other rights to be realized and offer one set of areas, I think, where young people's rights are being challenged that we should be discussing here and that's around the rights to creativity, and I remember when I first went online 10 or 12 years ago, I created my own web presence, starting with a blank state, building in HTML and I now see people constrained within the Facebook boxes, what other media do you take that's already there for you to publish and are we empowering people to have positive creative spaces online? Are we providing those spaces or have we? We have dealt with young spaces where the rights to play creativity are constrained it's something we need to explain more.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Do one of our panelists want to reply to the comment?
>> ANN COLLIER: I degree, I believe the U.N. Convention on the rights of child is a solid base and it refers to all media.
It really already refers to the internet and I think that that's where we need to start. That's our foundation and there are people who know a lot more about it than I do.
>> And thank you, Tim, for those comments. Absolutely, involving children in research is essential and I really mean to extend that in the concept of children's right to be heard. I couldn't agree more in terms of the UNCRC as the foundation. It is the charter. There's no question about that, and there has no suggestion that I was suggesting an alternative charter to this. I think what is missing, though, is a rights‑based discourse in how we talk about children online and I think it's got to be informed by and I think there needs to be better awareness of the convention of the rights of the child itself and all aspects of public life and I'm involved in other projects which is about building awareness among journalists, people who should know, people who exercise media rights day in and day out, but their awareness of children's rights is incredibly low.
Therefore in terms of the online space, I think we need to make these explicit connections between the legal frameworks and the grounding concept of rights and whether that needs to happen through media literacy charter, if you like, you know, it's a concept that's active in Europe and I think there are debates about how effective it is, but certainly we need opportunities to promote the debate in a high‑profile public way.
>> Okay, first, I would like to apologize coming late to this session ‑‑ I might be touching on some areas where you have already touched. First, I would like to talk about the security. What is private to one child might not be private to another. So what are the issues that you are tackling when coming up with private issues.
And then I don't know if there's a huge gap in other countries as we have in Kenya and other African countries about the net. Most of our parents don't know how to use the net. So if a child uses the net and goes to bad sites, he or she usually goes to another place and that parent doesn't know what that kid is going through.
And then there's this negative behavior that people initially discuss that due to ‑‑ okay. With the net, people have acquired ‑‑ children have acquired negative behavior, and there's a myth, according to the discussions that are going on that the Internet is not a good thing for the children. And at the same time, the Internet has good opportunities for children, where they can learn many things. So how are we going to teach parents better things that ‑‑ on how to control their children and advise them on how to use the Internet?
>> Thank you for this question. I think this was one comment to the previous topic that Anjan wanted to make and then I will invite John to answer.
>> ANJAN BOSE: I just wanted to mention, we are talking about, you know, UNCRC, the ‑‑ you know, the guiding principles here, but based on the work that we do around the world, just wanted to highlight this. We monitor the efforts of the different countries in implementing the CRC, and ‑‑ sorry. And it's very obvious that not all countries, even though they sign up for the CRC follow rigorously, you know, because of various factors because of the economic conditions, the political will. There's a huge gap to signing up the CRC and implementing all the principles. So that extends to our discussion here, even though the ‑‑ we are talking about children's rights and how those can be ensured. We need the political will and the support of the governments to actively go in this direction.
And just assuming a rights based approach will be effective will probably need us to nothing. I have just wanted to highlight that.
>> JOHN CARR: The question was ‑‑ there were two questions. One, is what are the privacy issues that all of these people up here are talking about or referring to? Is that correct?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I was talking on the issues that you consider when coming up with children's rights and protection policies.
>> JOHN CARR: Yeah, okay, and the second was how do you reach parents? I will deal with the easy one first. The question, what we are normally referring to when we get into this question of privacy in children are two things. One is the extent to which children through their innocence, through their lack of knowledge, or inexperience disclose too much information about themselves typically on a social networking site or a social networking profile. Historically it used to be in chatrooms and that kind of thing, or any area where the information that they disclosed could reach a wider audience. Some of the people they may not know at all. So that's one aspect of the privacy question.
The second is much more ‑‑ is kind of more technical in a way, and the way different programs and software packages things like cookies and there are a whole range of different types of cookies, things like location services which again pick up information which is primarily of use ‑‑ not primarily, but one of the key uses is by commercial companies who wish to serve advertising to people and very often, again, with children and young people, but actually not ‑‑ by no means just for children and young people. A lot of people are using programs and applications without fully understanding necessarily that one of the things that they are agreeing to do is provide that information about themselves or their location or whatever to companies who use it for advertising. And there are privacy issues around that, because obviously knowing where an individual is, is a major piece of information about them and their ‑‑ well, the lack of privacy in that case.
On the second point, reaching parents, anybody who can find an answer to this question that works everywhere will be a very rich person. Because we ‑‑ there are lots of different ‑‑ there's no one silver bullet for reaching parents. It's very much depends on the culture, the tradition, the schools, the networks that exist in different countries. I'm sitting at the platform of the world's greatest living expert, Janice Richardson and so I will say nothing more.
>> JANICE RICHARDSON: Well, thank you, John. Actually, I was going to go back to an earlier point. One, and perhaps the most important way that young people learn is learning by doing and here we are sitting down talking about developing a charter of rights for the Internet, rights for children, et cetera, but I think that it's up to young people to develop their own charter if it's really going to be meaningful, and this goes very much back to the question about creativity. I think that to be truly creative online, a young person needs to master all the rungs of the ladder that Brian was talking about. I used to be a researcher in creativity and there are many elements that are required for creativity, but the very first is fully understanding the capabilities of the tools that we are talking about and the second is to have adequate space to use these tools and reflect on what we are doing. If we did ask young people to reflect on the charter of principles, I think this is where we would have true participation and not just pay lip service, but say what they are reading off papers.
Reaching parents, I think that's where I'm meant to be an expert. This is a huge problem. You know that the network covers 30 countries and in every single one of those countries, we have a national center reflecting on this. There are a number of ways that we should be trying and the most simple have never even been tried. Has your school ever written a letter to parents to underline exactly what is expected to parents to give their children ‑‑ to allow their children to make the most of the opportunities and avoid the risks online? According to a Euro Barometer survey several years ago, this is what parents are looking for, official information where they really see their rights and responsibilities and not just having to ‑‑ well, not having to attend meetings where they are afraid that they are going to look stupid. So I would say that go back to some of the research and see how we should be trying to reach parents and perhaps put this into practice if it doesn't work, the research is wrong, but there's certainly something to grasp from that.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Okay. I saw quite a lot of hands in the back. Yes? Maybe first the lady in the back and ‑‑ no. The person behind you. Yes. Yes.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. Good morning. I'm Jillian from the Philippines and I'm working with the women's feminist NGO. I would like to relate the debate between the production and empowerment. I think this is also the same on the women's issues in relation to ICT related versus other right to sexual expression.
I would just like to point out that even our research, we do agree that empowerment is a key factor to address these issues but this ‑‑ but this empowerment concern should also be guided by a certain human rights principles, in particular addressing the content and messaging, which I think is also important when we address issues of children.
We also ‑‑ I would also like to highlight that the children we are trying to empower, and protect will later on become women, and women, most of the time don't also want to be treated as a victim, as they grow old. They also want to be treated as women, as agents of change, and I think this is a very important concern that I would like to raise particularly with NGOs dealing on children that we focus more on issues concerning to empower them, rather than to address issues concerning protecting them. And if we would want to do that, I think we need to do more research and look at how ‑‑ what are the specificities of this violence so we don't do a general description of law that would, instead of protecting them harming them. Thank you.
>> Just a quick statement. I think protection and empowerment are not mutually exclusive. They can go both hand in hand. If we just trace on one, we kind of tend to ignore the other one, and I want to reiterate that, they can be done together.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, everybody, I'm Ann Katrin. I have been in the children protection for years. I welcome the change that I see in this room and the panel. We were all restricting and forbidding, because if you take an historical approach, you can see that we started with moving images in the movies and that was easy to protect children from getting inside the cinema by saying this is ‑‑ this is from 15 or 11 and so on. I think this way of protecting has been working also when the Internet started because it was mainly still a one‑way communication with one sender and a lot of receivers. Today the Internet is not like that. It is a communicative media.
It needs other ways of protecting. I think the empowerment that so many people in this room have been talking about, I think is the only way forward and I think we don't just have to empower the children. We have to empower everybody in society.
I went to a session yesterday, where they talked about the police force. If you go to the police force and they say, I have been assaulted on the Internet. They say, you look fine. I don't see any harm on your body. So I think you need a kind of education on all levels, parents, teachers and all people working with children and young people. That's a dream, but I think it will be possible if we ‑‑ if we are convinced that that is the way to go. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you so much. My name is Jonathan from ECPAT. When the schools are teaching students, they only teach computer applications, how to learn using computers.
If we can get measures of adding content or using those lessons of computers. If we can deal with the Ministries of Education and others about the curriculums, maybe in the computer lessons also approach these issues.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Can we gather one more comment and we are running a bit late. So then I will invite the final remarks from the panelists.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much. I'm Miriam Mohar. I happen to be the chairperson of the ICT class to task force. We work under the Ministry of Information and Communication and I first want to answer something that was said by of Childline Kenya. As for the Ministry of Information and Communication. We ensure that Kenya is moving very, very well in the ICT. For us, as the Kenyan government to host this meeting here, you all heard it yesterday from the opening remarks of the vice president ‑‑ of the vice president.
And we have received even some donations for schools, iPods that we are giving. The thing is, to educate people who are not computer learned, we all need some patience.
And for the youth, I speak this as a mother too. Youth, understand us in our times, there were no computers! Now that you are more learned than your parents, just give them time and be open to them, because education is a two way. You keep learning, the parent keep learning and we all will have an economy that will be a bottom‑up economy.
As I commend the panelists, I was listening keenly and I want to thank John Carr very much. You know, you say we need the fixing. All of us here, we bring this Internet Governance for a fixing. The nations and the children, all of the world can benefit from this. So for us in Kenya, even as we sit here, from the Ministry of Information, we are just here to listen and to take the comments and take them to the relevant offices.
Whatever has been discussed here, it will go further. So for all of us, and I just challenge the youth from Kenya, please, do the best you can for your nation now. What you know is right, give it back to the nation and you will never regret. Thank you.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Thank you very much. Actually this is the idea of the IGF to debate this and then take as many possible points and issues further to the bodies where the decisions are taken.
I would like now to invite our panelists for final comments if you ‑‑ okay. There is one more.
>> Yes, if I could make one comment.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Please try to be very comment.
>> I'm Jacqueline from Microsoft in the United States. I would like to build on the comments that my esteemed colleague Cornelia made earlier, and the notion of reaching parents and engaging parents. I think the one thing we need to keep in mind when we are addressing parents and we do this a lot at Microsoft, is the notion of empowerment. We need to focus on empowering parents. The children are smart. They are very intelligent. They understand technology. They are very adept with technology and that can being intimidating to parents but what we have to focus on in the parental realm is that the parents have something to offer. They have lived life and they have wisdom. We need to distinguish between intelligence and wisdom and we need to focus on the parental component.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: So shall we go in the order starting with John?
>> JOHN CARR: Yep, I very much agree with that last point about the difference between wisdom and knowledge. They are not the same thing. Our responsibility is government, parents, everybody is to make sure the wisdom bit gets across as well, not just the knowledge.
I want to take up the point that our friend from the Kenyan government made just now. The eNASCO, the body that has organized this workshop, it's part of the European Commission's Internet safety program. Part of our job is to help spread what we learn and learn in turn from others. So very much we are with you. We are on the same page. Our web site, the European Commission's web site has lots of stuff like this, information, experience, research projects, technical solutions, commentary on all kinds of things that you can get and that's it's purpose. That's why the network exists.
If you want to make really, really sure, you can sign up to my blog.
>> JOHN CARR: That's advertising but it's free. It's free.
>> It's very difficult to summarize this whole number of issues. What I would like to mention here is I think I have a sense of ‑‑ or maybe lack of the online environment. Maybe we are harping too much on what messages, what parents should do to children in protect and that sense, but it kind of is much wider than that. Are we talking about reporting mechanisms? Are we talking, you know, the entire gamut of system that needs to exist within law enforcement, you know, within the legal framework? So just wanted to highlight that.
When we have a debate between empowerment, which I very strongly support and empowerment is, you know, came out and we did a study most recently in five countries in Africa and one of the highlight of that was children and young people in social networks wants to be more creative and I think that addresses Larry's comment earlier as well. We are seeing that urge for creating more content from young people, and, you know, having said that, we don't need to underscore the need for child protection as well. That would be my final comment. We need to have both.
>> So thank you very much, for letting me be allowed to be on this panel. I think all the ingredients of the discussion have really been mentioned and that is encouraging because it is not so easy to come to solution. I think the point made by the representative for Kenya is very important. It's really the technology brings a lot of opportunities to the young people, and in particular, in areas where access to ‑‑ to information is not as ‑‑ as useful as may be in ‑‑ in developed countries.
One thing I would like to highlight is actually a distinction which I just recall has not necessarily been made. There has been made a distinction between harm and risk. There's also a distinction to make between offending behavior and real crime, and there's also ‑‑ so there's also engagement that I think needs a little bit of a distinction. Microsoft has developed software that we have donated to ICMC, which is the international center for missing children, in order to help clean, help to identify known pictures of sexual child abuse and this is yet another area that needs focus and so this ‑‑ I just wanted to also have been put forward here. So thank you again.
>> I'm so honored to be on this panel too. Thank you so much. You know, I think that question how to reach parents is really a much bigger question. It is how to reach a whole generation of people who didn't grow up online or with digital technology. It's really all of us. And I think the answer is not technical or a policy answer. I think it is a very human answer. As others have said, it's about getting people past the fear, because we ‑‑ we fear what we don't understand, and so, you know, people have spoken to empowerment, but we haven't come up with an answer on how to reach those who ‑‑ in our generation, who are fearful of technology, and I think the answer is we're all in this together.
I think kind of late in the game in the United States, we've come to realize in some school districts, in some states that ‑‑ that the best approach is the whole school community approach, that when you are teaching children ICT, you need to bring the parents along too. So maybe KiBO Foundation in Uganda, which is going outstanding work by teaching young people ICT students can also have a parents program so the parents can be onboard with their kids. It's important to encourage the parents to talk with their kids. Don't take from the news what's going on with online youth. Let's work from the kid out. Let's talk with our own children because it's very individual how children use the Internet and they can be our teachers. Somebody said that, it's a two‑way thing, thank you, Minister.
When we empower our children and create a mutual respect situation, there is a lot of communication which is really their best protection.
>> Thank you very much for the opportunity to share what we are going through. As a country, we are still very young and growing into technology. I appreciate what the government has said, they are committed to and we are going out to ensure that all the countries have some centers. That is very encouraging. We can't do it alone. We really need to pull our processes to go. There's a lot of experience from the West that web tap in to build. And that's the only way that we can ensure that children are safe in this country. Thank you so much.
>> Thank you very much for eNASCO to this panel. I think it's really, really important. I welcome the shift that has been mentioned that this represents towards thinking about and debating child safety online in a rights frame. I think this is really, really important. One of the dangers is that a rights discussion can be somewhat abstract. I think we have to be aware of that, and to be careful that if something remains at a realm which doesn't actually touch real children's lives.
In that, I think in interrogating rights, we can identify what will make for a safer Internet, but also what will make for a better Internet, and also I think mentioned in the discussion are things that need to be fixed and perhaps our football analogy comes back here. Do we need FIFA? I just put a question mark on that. But what is the equivalent for FIFA and the sense of fair play, you know, certainly, I think the discussion within the rights context is very, very important and it allows us to see what does need fixing.
>> The network that I head spear heads the European Commission's awareness raising program and the key to this program is empowerment, just as I think a risk of reputation here, but the key to active responsible citizenship is also empowerment, but it means empowerment of parents as Microsoft mentioned to show them what they bring to the table, which is very important and no one else can bring it. Empowerment of teachers by allowing them to use today's tools in the classroom and giving them the training that they need to use them efficiently. Empowerment also not only to children and young people, but also to the very valuable children, young people, members of society.
So I think the whole debate can be summed up with this empowerment, but alas, it's so difficult to empower people to understand their own capacity and to build their self‑esteem.
>> AGNIESZKA WRZESIEN: Thank you to our panelists. I think it is really very difficult to accommodate all ideas which have been mentioned throughout this session, but one issue which I will take from our debate is it seemed that we all agreed on the fact there's a need to develop a new understanding of citizenship, which encompasses also a new digital spaces where we interact, where children and young people interact, as citizenship which would match more and take into account children's rights and also children's needs.
And I'm hoping that some of these issues will be discussed further in the afternoon session on digital citizenship, which Ann mentioned. Thank you very much for your participation.