Recommends To The Government To Promote A National Campaign To Raise Awareness And Prevention Of The Risks Of The Internet For Children, As Part Of A National System Of Alert And Missing Child Protection

Original Language Title: Recomenda ao Governo que promova uma campanha nacional de sensibilização e prevenção dos riscos da Internet para as crianças, no âmbito de um Sistema Nacional de Alerta e Protecção de Crianças Desaparecidas

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1 DRAFT RESOLUTION No. 346/X Recommends the Government to draw up a national campaign to raise awareness and prevention of the risks of the Internet for children, within the framework of the national system of alert and missing Child Protection.

Explanatory memorandum: is, today, a consensus around the world that the use of the internet can put children and young people in situations of danger, since this is the most used by sexual predators to seek its victims and reach them.

Currently, children are the biggest users of the internet, particularly chatrooms. The extraordinary development and expansion of these technologies may constitute an important tool for the intellectual development of children and young people, but can also be extremely dangerous 2 due to lack of parental control on the speakers and content of chat rooms.

How the parental zeal manifested is well indicative of a generational imbalance: never allow the kids to move, alone, isolated and dangerous places, but to allow internet browsing, may inadvertently be to facilitate an exhibition to various risks in the apparent safety of the home.

And even if parents seek to prevent access to certain sites or chat rooms, you may run into in the language and own codes that children and young people use to communicate on the internet, and that parents do not know nor understand.

We can even speak of a lack of basic literacy of parents regarding the internet because, according to the project "MiudosSegurosNa .Net":  60% of parents are intermediate users;

 56% of parents never sit alongside the children while they surf the internet;

 Only 4% do it always.

3 Now, all of this creates a significant "digital divide" between parents and children.

Obviously, the solution is not by banning young people access the chats as the "MSN", nor discourage access to the internet or to new technologies, which constitute an essential tool of your development and a primary condition for your future. But parents have to accept that the protection of the domestic ceiling can be illusory and must explain to them the risks these sites may cause.

Not advocating any kind of "control" excessive or prohibition, because, apart from reprehensible in terms of principles, would be totally ineffective, because when parents would prevent the installation of these sites on computers, already exist ways to bypass security filters. Nowadays, children have, from a very early age, a huge technological and elasticity, with bans, the adults would enter a undesirable conflicts with their children. The mere prohibition does not clarify, no alert and not get away from the danger to which they are subject.

In addition, and in accordance with the National Coordinator of the project "EU Kids Online," the Portuguese children more access to the internet through mobile phone than computer, which represents an exposure and risk increased 4 because in this way, access the websites and chat rooms they want, where they want, even in school, and without any kind of control.

Consensus is that, to combat these risks, the most important and sensible attitude is prevention.

According to data provided by the Director of the Department "Safeguarding and Child Online Protection", the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), developments in the United Kingdom on the internet images of children sexually abused is as follows:  1995:12 images;  1999:41,000 images;  2008:1 million images.

We should not forget that behind each image circulating on the internet, is a real child, and these data make us reflect and conclude that we cannot neglect, in any way, the law applicable to the use of the internet by children.

In this context, it is very important that the European Union could undertake the necessary harmonization of the applicable laws in this respect, in order to facilitate the charges and arrests related to pedophilia.

5 For your integration in the EU and the Schengen area, Portugal is considered a sexual trafficking permeable Country of children and young people. To be effective, has to perform mandatory in several fields of action, not only the legislature. As has already been said, prevention is the most important attitude in combating disappearances, trafficking and sexual abuse of children and young people.

In this sense, should be designed and implemented national awareness campaigns and warning of the risks to which children are subjected, as internet users. These campaigns should be disseminated in the media and in schools.

CEOP's website, in the United Kingdom, offers well-designed movies about the form of prevention in this area. It would be desirable if made movies of this kind in Portugal to disseminate at the national level or, at least, that if asked the CEOP to authorize your diffusion, with translation into Portuguese. Some of these films can be viewed at: ; ; ; ; ;

6 on the other hand, in the opinion of the CDS-PP, it was important that in Portugal also apply in "MSN" something similar to "Report Abuse" English-which is directly connected to the CEOP – in which children could access quickly and, with all the security of confidentiality, report an approach that have been the target, an attempt to abuse or even abuse. When you receive a message from a child, the CEOP immediately activates the competent authorities to verify the accuracy of the facts and proceed to the search and arrest of the abuser. It should be reminded that the "MSN" is the most commonly used chat for children and therefore an easy target and highly attractive to criminals.

Therefore, the Assembly of the Republic, in accordance with point (b)) of article 156 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, decides to recommend to the Government that: Develop a national campaign to raise awareness and prevention of the risks of the Internet for children, within the framework of the national system of alert and missing Child Protection and sexually abused, to be disseminated in the media and in schools.

São Bento Palace, June 2 2008.

7 Members,