How safe are our children online? Young people are increasingly making more use of social networking sites: 38% of 9 to 12-year-olds and 77% aged 15 and 16 are now signed up to sites such as Facebook. On Monday MEPs will discuss the need to focus on education and to combat illegal and unsuitable content as proposed in a report by Italian Social Democrat Silvia Costa. The proposals will be voted on Tuesday.
The report stresses the need for children to be taught about the "digital world". The original Commission report also focussed on education as parents and educators are failing to keep pace with technological changes in the lives of their children.
The EU's Safer Internet Programme funds public awareness activities, actions for fighting illegal and harmful content online and actions promoting a safer online environment. Ms Costa said the programme should be continued and be given more resources as illegal and harmful content is still too easy to access.
Ms Costa also spoke out in support of the Commission proposal for a "right to be forgotten". This could lead to a ban on preserving personal data online. According to her member states should also continue to harmonise the classification of digital content for minors.
The report also calls on the Commission to propose a single framework directive on children's rights in the digital world.