Web Safe & Wise: Policy Asks

1. Child Protection

To national government authorities:

1.1 Allocate a mandated ministry and/or lead agency to lead cross-governmental coordination to prevent online harms against children through awareness raising, education, and regulation.

1.2 Develop, strengthen, and enforce comprehensive laws that criminalize online child sexual exploitation and abuse acts (OCSEA) including, but not limited to sextortion, online grooming, and livestreaming of child sexual abuse.

1.3 Strengthen and resource existing child protection systems to incorporate online elements of violence against children and ensure that adequately resourced end-to-end social support services are available for all child survivors of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

1.4 Allocate resources nationally during budget processes to develop training programs for parents and caregivers, frontline workers, and service providers on how to identify, report and respond to child online safety risks and suspected OCSEA.

To tech industry leaders:

1.5 Develop mandatory industry codes in consultation with young people to safeguard them online and protect them from age-inappropriate content across platforms and providers.

2. Child Participation

To national government authorities:

2.1 Prioritize resourcing for stable, wide- reaching, and affordable internet connectivity and reliable electricity infrastructure so that all children and young people have the access required to develop the necessary protective behaviors to stay safe online.

2.2 Adopt quality online safety curricula in formal and informal education settings and across urban and remote locations that develop core digital competencies (e.g., using privacy settings, understanding the permanency of online content) and good digital citizenship.

2.3 Create more community-based mechanisms for child safe disclosure and reporting of OCSEA, including parenting or youth groups linked to formal child protection systems.

2.4 Invest in dedicated development programs for children and young people that educate them about consent, healthy relationships and how to disclose abuse safely.

To civil society:

2.5 Conduct periodic research of children’s online experiences to inform policy, programming, and resourcing decisions. At a minimum, such research should document children’s levels of digital literacy and their family’s access to and use of digital technology.