Towards building a safer digital environment for Children

Across the world, children are at risk of being exposed to harm, abuse, violence, and exploitation in the ever-developing digital environment. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic further plunged the world into forcefully relying on digital tools to carry out day-to-day tasks. Furthermore, millions of children have to rely on online tools for learning, playing, entertainment and connecting to friends, family and their environment.

However, with all their perks and advantages, these digital tools could pose a considerable challenge to the well-being and safety of children, who are more often than not vulnerable. It then becomes essential to balance the scales by regulation, although no silver bullet exists. Who and what is to be regulated? How can the regulation be implemented? Do we cut children's access to digital tools? Should we place an obligation on parents to monitor the activities of their children online? What exactly should the plan be to protect children in today's digital environment? On what basis should children's personal data be processed? Even though the internet has evolved into a crucial tool for kids' growth, how can we create a safe online environment on a platform that wasn't created with them in mind?