About the Forum
The more opportunities the Internet provides, the more urgent the issue of children online safety becomes. On October 27, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UNESCO IITE held the Forum on Child Online Protection (COP) for CIS Region on the Zoom Platform. The Forum consisted of three sessions focused on global activities related to the matter, policy and industry recommendations and guidance for parents, educators and children. Participants discussed current and emerging challenges, actual implementation of the COP Guidelines in the national and regional contexts, as well as approaches, policies, and existing practices in the field.
Guidelines for parents and educators
UNESCO IITE moderated the third session “Regional perspective and country experiences: recommendations for parents, educators and children”. The online dialogue focused on the regulatory, organizational and procedural frameworks for ensuring the online information security of children. Special attention was also given to the implementation of the new ITU COP Guidelines addressed to parents and educators.
Presentation speaker Mr. Denis Zavarzin, General Director, ANO “Center for the Study and Network Monitoring of the Youth Environment” described the current situation and highlighted the urgency of resolving the issue related to the active consumption of destructive content among children and youth, largely through the active use of social networks.
Mr. Vadim Kaptur, Vice-Rector on Scientific Work, A.S.Popov Odessa National Academy of Telecommunication presented an updated version of Online Safety Course developed by the ITU Regional Office for CIS jointly with the Academy as part of the Regional Initiative 2 for the CIS.
After presentations of the speakers, UNESCO IITE invited the panelists for a discussion, the key focus of which was the national experience of the CIS countries in the development of methodological and legal frameworks, as well as ways of their application in practice. In addition to the speakers, the following experts participated in the panel discussion:
- Ms. Lyudmila Bokova, Director a.i., Federal Institute for Digital Transformation in Education, Russian Federation
- Mr. Urvan Parfentyev, Safer Internet Centre, Russian Federation
- Ms. Elvira Zhenish kyzy, Deputy Director, Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications, Kyrgyz Republic
- Ms. Janat Djabassova, Head, International Cooperation and Project Implementation Centre, Kostanay Engineering and Economics University n.a. M.Dulatov, Republic of Kazakhstan
On completing the Q&A session, Ms. Natalia Amelina, moderator of the session and Chief of Teacher Professional Development and Networking Unit at UNESCO IITE, provided a summary of the meeting and noted the importance of an integrated approach in addressing threats and solving the problem. Ms. Amelina also mentioned that not only awareness-raising is needed to ensure information security of children online, but also a number of important decisions are required at all levels.
- Due to the fact that in the modern world social networks play a huge role in the socialization of children, it is critically important to prevent children from consuming destructive content that negatively affects them.
- It is necessary to introduce multimedia educational courses for children everywhere to prevent threats and increase children’s knowledge of the safe use of the Internet.
- Creating conditions for digital transformation in schools plays an important role in preventing the harmful influence of the Internet on children.
- Joint efforts are needed to prevent and combat bullying and cyberbullying, as well as sexual exploitation of minors, armed attacks on schools, etc.
- It is equally important to improve the qualifications of teachers through the creation and distribution of various kinds of courses.
- With the development of the Internet, many technical solutions appear that allow parents to control the behavior of children on the Internet.
Materials of the Forum
More detailed information on the programme and speakers is available on the ITU website.