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BEST PRACTICE FORUM: Child Online Protection
Here is a rundown of this session moderated by ITU.
A general overview of the session presented some observations that children are willing to share information in return for good services. This means that children are very gullible to child predators. Due to this pressing problem, there is a need to develop a coordinated global network for online safety. By protecting children online from abuse would build online confidence with regards to security.
In line with this, ITU reported that in June of this year, a new harmonized number 116 111 is the CHI or Child Hotline International (the speaker spoke of the hotline number quite so fast so I am not particularly sure if this is a 116 OR 111 number or the hotline number is the combination of both 3 digit number). Reports indicated that there are over 10 million calls in child hotlines that were received in a year. It was observed that sometimes children call hotlines because they were abused or just want to talk to somebody with regards to problems that would make them contemplate suicide. So having a single line will make the hotline more widely known.
ITU also reported that a few weeks back, they launched a child online safety project endorsed by 101 governments. It was noted that it was not an easy feat making governments agree all together so it was a great effort, thus, facilitating international cooperation. Plus, having a unified stand would help identify potential risk factors. Facilitating membership of 191 governments and 700 private entities would facilitate standardization, more development work – all these are great focal points for creating partnerships on a global basis. Furthermore, educational institutions are tapped to help minimize the risks by including in the curricula lesson plans about child online safety. It is encouraged to share our concerns and develop necessary procedure so children can definitely benefit from this technology.
eNASCO – European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online – talked about the need to address this concern on child online safety in different angles and in different legislations applicable for each state. eNASCO also gave a report on how to block sites. They informed the audience that police database could contain 8000+ URLs containing illegal sites. Then the ISP’s are furnished with this URL list of illegal sites from the national police. When the user writes the URL, it is automatically blocked.
To conclude this report, “Child Helpline International” is a PHONE and outreach service for children. With 3 to 4 digit number being applied nationally for each country can ease access. Paragraph 2 of the WSIS Tunis Agenda would remind of this need.