Child Protection Organisations Welcome UN Secretary General's Statement of the UN's Commitment to Child Online Safety at IGF in Rio

November 11, 2007

Representatives from a number of leading Child Protection organisations meeting at the Internet Governance Forum in Rio today, welcomed the commitment expressed by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the inaugural session of the second IGF for a strong focus on child protection online at the IGF.

Members of child protection organisations working towards online child protection in very many parts of the world are addressing the very real online safety issues for young people. Members are contributing to a number of key sessions at the IGF meeting including;

  • The Council of Europe Session on Child Protection Online
  • Measures to protect and fight child pornography on the Internet
  • Protecting children from sexual exploitation through Information Communications Technologies (ICTs)
  • Best Practice Forum organised by the European Commission and the Government of Australia

The groups recognise the enormous value of the Internet has for children and young people but are increasingly seeing at first hand how children and young people are at risk from inappropriate contact, content and excessive commercialism online.

John Carr one of the members of the group representing children's charities in the UK says, As more and more children come online it is crucial that all sectors including Governments and Industry recognise their responsibility to protect children and ensure that the issue of child safety is addressed at the highest level."

Stephen Balkam CEO of the FOSI (Family Online Safety Institute) in Washington says, "We are increasingly recognising the shared responsibility we all have for ensuring that children can use the internet and mobile services safely. Education in school and for parents is crucial but this has to be complimented by better tools and services from industry players as well as appropriate government oversight ."

Carmen Madrinan CEO from ECPAT: "Whilst we welcome the recognition of the importance of child protection online, we need to ensure that we go beyond words and realise the practical implications for protecting children's rights and providing safer environments and secure services for young people online. It is crucial that the voice of the Child is consistently heard."