The B-BICO project is funded by the European Commission under the Connecting Europe Facility –Telecommunication Work programme 2014. One of its overall objectives is to deploy services that help make the Internet a trusted environment for children through actions that empower and protect them online.
As underlined in the EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child, the long-term effects of not investing enough in policies affecting children may have a profound impact on our societies.
Whereas the Digital Agenda for Europe aims to have every European digital, children have particular needs and vulnerabilities on the Internet, which must be addressed specifically so that the Internet becomes a place of opportunities for children to access knowledge, to communicate, to develop their skills and to improve their job perspectives and employability. Keeping children safe online is a key commitment of the Digital Agenda for Europe, one of the flagship initiatives of Europe 2020.
In 2012, the Commission has set out a plan, through the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children, to give children the digital skills and tools they need to benefit fully and safely from being online. It is articulated around four main ‘pillars’ that mutually reinforce each other
(1) Stimulating quality content online for young people;
(2) Stepping up awareness and empowerment;
(3) Creating a safe environment for children online; and
(4) Fighting against child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation.
It proposes a series of actions to be undertaken by the Commission, Member States and the whole industry value chain.
This strategy builds on ongoing EU actions in this field: for example, the easy-to-use mechanisms for children, parents and teachers to report harmful content and conduct online will complement the 116 missing children hotlines (see press release IP/07/188).
The Coalition to make a better internet for children, or CEO Coalition, launched in December 2011, is a cooperative voluntary intervention designed to respond to emerging challenges arising from the diverse ways in which young Europeans go online. Companies’ signatories to the Coalition committed to take positive action to make the internet a safer place for kids.