Australia’s eSafety Commissioner and the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights have joined forces to promote and protect the online rights of children and improve their digital safety.
eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant and Intergroup Co-Chairs and Members of the European Parliament Caterina Chinnici (Italy), David Lega (Sweden), Catharina Rinezma (Netherlands) and Milan Brglez (Slovenia) have signed a joint statement setting out a commitment to strengthen international cooperation on this important issue.
Ms Inman Grant said that today’s internet wasn’t really built with children in mind, but the fact remains that today the youngest members of our society are increasingly exposed to the online world at an earlier age and for longer.
“Just like in the offline world, children are exposed to a range of harms online, tragically including exploitation and abuse. As legislators and regulators, we need to govern the internet in their best interests, because children deserve to have their rights protected online just like adults, including the right to enjoy all the benefits of the connected world safely.
“Australia and the European Union both have a strong track record when it comes to protecting the safety and rights of children online. This partnership with the Intergroup marks a new stage in our close relationship allowing us to coordinate advocacy activities and share ideas and best practice.”
In signing the joint statement, the Co-Chairs of the European Parliament Intergroup said: "We commend the leading role Australia is taking globally to ensure safety and the rights of the child in the digital environment.
“The digital world poses challenges that know no border and with both the EU and Australia passing ground-breaking pieces of legislation to regulate the online world, the need for increased and structural cooperation in this area could not be more critical and timely.
“We firmly believe that we both parties could benefit from this increased cooperation and be better equipped to tackle the common challenges we have, building on the experience and expertise of the eSafety Commissioner and the EU achievements in this domain."
The eSafety Commissioner met with the Intergroup Co Chairs during a recent trip to Brussels as Europe and Australia continue to implement world-leading legislation to regulate the digital environment. As part of the trip, Ms Inman Grant also attended a series of high-level meetings with other Members of the European Parliament, Commissioners, NGOs and senior officials from the European Commission.
The full statement can be found here.
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