In 2018, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation to Mem-ber States on guidelines to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in the digital environment. The guidelines represent a milestone in strengthening children’s rights online. With the recommendations to the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has been converted into principles of action for the digital media for the first time.
The publication (download here) contains fundamental and operational principles with regard to children’s rights, measures and recommendations how Member States can acknowledge the prin-ciples within national frameworks and international cooperation. Among the many topics covered are the right to participation in the digital environment, protection of personal data, the provision of child-friendly content, the right to protection from sexual exploitation, bullying and hate speech, and the role and responsibility of companies.
Council of Europe holds nation states and internet services accountable
In 2020, the Council of Europe complemented the guidelines with a handbook for policy makers, which offers concrete support for the implementation of children's rights in the digital environment. The manual specifies key terms such as "personal data". In addition, there are checklists at hand with which the applicable laws and framework conditions in the respective country can be checked. A separate chapter examines how IT companies should be hold accountable in order to implement children's rights. Another section deals with the possibilities and risks related to Artificial Intelligence (AI).