The Global Path for ensuring Online Child Protection and Safety: Effective strategies and Specific Action

15 November 2009 - A Workshop on Security in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt


Concise Description:
This workshop will focus on effective strategies and specific actions in developing and promoting a safe and productive experience for children and youth online, and protecting children and youth from exploitation and abuse. It will promote multi-stakeholder cooperation by identifying common elements (strategies/specific actions/good practices), contributions by and synergies between different stakeholders, and mechanisms for interaction and cooperation.
The workshop will seek to identify existing examples of interactive, constructive, pluralistic, multi-stakeholder cooperation, as well as to outline continuing challenges. 

The Internet is an essential and valuable resource to children and youth as it broadens and enhances their access to information, content, and enhances interaction with resources and individuals around the world. Countries, organizations, businesses, NGOs, educational organizations, and law enforcement are increasingly concerned both about access to the online world for children and youth, and about how to develop and promote safe and productive experiences, as well as how to address malicious, harmful, or illegal behavior online that affects children and youth. 

The workshop will identify and showcase regional and international best practices in terms of services, programs, policy development and implementation around child safety and child protection measures but also allow critical examination of current standards and approachesand challenges faced in developing and ensuring a safe and productive online environment for children and youth. A key feature that is often discussed around the issue of online child protection is the issue of content and uses of the Internet that are harmful or illegal. A growing interest among experts and governments is how to address such challenges, while also supporting the effective uses of the Internet by children and youth for both personal and educational purposes. 

The session will provide a closer examination of the current standards and initiatives that exist in these areas, including the role of legal provisions. The workshop will also address the significant challenges related to lack of legal provisions in some countries, and identify proposed solutions and actions. [Participants will address a wide range of information, including key recommendations coming out of the World Congress III on sexual exploitation of children and adolescents as they discuss the priority needs and practical action lines for ensuring better protective measures for children and an enhanced and safe experience online for all children and youth.]

Practical engagement of industry and NGO organizations in terms of making the online environment safer for children will be discussed with an eye of improving the current standards and also what more needs to be done. This unique forum will allow the often distant entities to share their standpoints to work out common approaches for a safe and productive online experience ofchildren. Educational and awareness raising activities in different parts of the globe will also be discussed and will provide with an opportunity to do comparative analysis of such practices and perhaps tune them even more to reflect the current changes in technological developments and their inherent risks. The forum would also showcase regional developments and also focus on developing country perspective in dealing with the issues notably those in the Arab region.