On 20 November 2012, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Protecting children in the digital world. The adopted report, prepared by Silvia Costa, highlights three main elements in terms of protecting minors in the digital era: education on new media, digital citizenship and protection from illegal and harmful content.
The European Parliament invites Members States to provide digital training for children, parents and teachers, aimed at enabling them to understand new media and online risks, and recommends to include media education in the school curriculum.
The report supports the use of technologies designed to prevent children from accessing content inappropriate to their age, such as parental control tools or age verification systems, and recommends institutions and operators to improve the coordination at European level of hotlines for reporting illegal content or harmful behaviour. The report urges the Commission to include in its main priorities the protection of children from aggressive or misleading TV and online advertising, and emphasises that special attention must be given to online marketing of harmful substances. The Commission is called on to examine the effectiveness of the various systems for voluntary classification of content unsuitable for minors in the Member States.
The European Parliament encourages service providers to promote self-regulation, particularly by drawing up codes of conduct for identifying and deleting illegal content, and welcomes the Commission’s intention to consider possible legislative measures if industry self-regulation fails to deliver.