08 January, 2021
Despite some fragmentation in the policy process and greater complexity in terms of implementation, the BIK Map shows positive progress in the implementation of the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children
Launched for the first time in 2015, the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) mapping aims at comparing policy making and implementation in EU Member States, based on the themes and recommendations set out by the European Commission in the European Strategy for a better Internet for Children published in May 2012.
This third edition released in November 2020 takes a closer look at the framework, the policy making-process and the implementation of national policies since the last report in 2018 in all EU Member States, as well as in Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom.
Policy frameworks: a focus on quality and safety
In almost all countries, public policies now incorporate the elements of the European Strategy, and in particular in terms of digital and media literacy, with a significant increased focus on high-quality online content for children and tools and regulation for an online safe environment.
Policy making: towards a better coordinated and evidence-based approach
Over the last two years, coordination of policy involved government ministries, public agencies, civil associations and stakeholders, and structured cooperation mechanisms between institutions were developped.
Moreover, it appears that the increased collection of data regarding children’s use of the Internet has indeed influenced the design of public policies in 24 countries whilst 17 countries reported that children are consulted when it comes to policies on children’s use of the Internet but are not part of the decision-making process (in only one country).
Policy implementation: the need to strengthen cooperation for a better implementation
On Pillar 1 – high-quality content online for children and young people: activities and initiatives to increase the production and visibility of high-quality content and support children’s creativity are now present in all countries, mostly through government ministries, Safer Internet Centres and public agencies with BIK responsibility.
On pillar 2 – stepping up awareness and empowerment: almost all countries have implemented strategies to support education on online safety, through schools or media literacy initiatives and campaigns or programmes. However, it seems that reporting mechanisms for harmful content still need support and data to improve and secure an effective implementation in all countries.
Here again, government ministries play the leading role with the support of NGOs, public service broadcasters, industry and universities.
On Pillar 3 – creating a safer environment for children online: a significant increase of actions is observed in terms of age-appropriate privacy settings (plus 66%) and age rating and content classification (plus 34%), encouraged by the direct implementation of EU legislation and the transposition of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
On Pillar 4 – fighting against child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation: almost as in 2018, while 23 countries reported increased resources for law enforcement in this regard, 28 countries are actively supporting the functioning and visibility of hotlines at the national level and the cooperation between those hotlines and the industry.
In the last two pillars, government ministries play a leading role, along with Safer Internet Centres.
As a conclusion, the report provides recommendations based on the Collective Impact model, to improve the effectiveness and impact of the BIK Strategy, such as the establishment of a common agenda at both national and European level, the strengthening of the evidence base and a shared measurement system, the cooperation and coordination of all actors to build on the complementary strengths or also the enhancement of knowledge-sharing and impact assessment.
Source: Better Internet for Kids