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As the Internet permeates every aspect of our economy and society, it is also becoming a daily reality in our children’s lives. While it brings considerable benefits to their education and development, it also exposes them to online risks such as access to inappropriate content, abusive interaction with others, exposure to aggressive marketing practices and privacy risks.
To protect children online, the OECD Council adopted in February 2012 a set of high level principles calling for evidence-based policy making and enhanced domestic and international co-ordination to improve national policy frameworks.
The Recommendation is available in a booklet that includes the background report on risks faced by children online and policies to protect them. The recommendation is also available in the database of OECD instruments and the background report on OECD i-library.
At the 2008 Seoul Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy, Ministers recognised the importance of ensuring a trusted Internet-based environment that offers protection to individuals, especially minors and other vulnerable groups. Following up on the Seoul Declaration, the OECD organised a joint symposium with APEC in 2009 to explore the issue in more detail.
Since then, research has been undertaken by the OECD Working Party on Information Security and Privacy (WPISP) to analyse what policies are in place to protect children online, their commonalities and differences, and how to improve the evidence base for further policy making.
In 2011, the WPISP released a report entitled The Protection of Children Online: Risks Faced by Children Online and Policies to Protect Them. In 2012, the OECD Council adopted a Recommendation based on the findings of the report, both available in a single booklet.
OECD work in this area focuses on the protection of children as users of the Internet. It does not address child pornography in general or the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet. It nevertheless includes input from the Council of Europe and refers to the Council of Europe's work related to child exploitation (Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, CETS 201) and child pornography (Convention on Cybercrime, ETS 185).
For more information, please contact: laurent [dot] bernat [at] oecd [dot] org.