Last year, child online protection is chosen as one of the Best Practice forum topics in UNIGF. Children and Youth, are one of the largest population of Internet users nowadays, protecting them from online threats as well as cultivating the sense of Digital citizen are critical. DotKids Foundation together with IGF Pakistan co-hosted the workshop in Asia Pacific regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), with the discussion topic of “Online Safety Awareness and Development of Sustainable Civilized Internet for the Next Generation“. This workshop served as a platform for programme organizers, legislators, government officers, innovators, corporates, academia, technical community and NGOs to share the best practices from the region, strengthen the Asia Pacific participation and would like to use as a starting point for creating an Asia Pacific regional network to enhance the discussion and awareness on child online protection and the development of desirable Internet for our Next Generation.
In addition, one of the important roles of the research is to bring influence to policy discussion. EU Kids Online founded in 2006 funded by the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme conducted research in over 33 European countries, often cited by various policy making bodies in decision process including International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and European Commission. For the session discussion, besides sharing good practices, we explored possibility of establishing similar regional network or roundtable, for example to conduct regional research on setting up children development index (CDI) focusing the area of children and youth online behavior, as an important reference for policy setting, or develop mechanism technically for child online safety, as well as promote the legislation of anti-cybercrime law for child protection for Asia Pacific Region to move forward.
For discussion outcome, there is consensus on bringing forward the collaborative effort from the region on building a better Internet for children. Regional Network for Child Online Safety has been established and here we call for interested community members to join us. Meanwhile, we also recognized the importance of education and promotion, therefore suggested the publication of Media Literacy Kit for children to advocate better Internet Usage.