By 2020 several assessments will be carried out in the Republic of Moldova related to the behavior of children and teenagers on the Internet. Mechanisms to report illegal content and online safety information centers will be created. This is provided by the Action Plan for 2017-2020, on promoting children’s and teenagers’ safety on the Internet, developed with the consultative support of the International Center “La Strada” and approved by the Government.
The authorities set the general objectives which imply reducing illegal and harmful content on the Internet, and informing children, parents and tutors about the risks of the online environment and about the possibilities to avoid them. The document was adopted after two years of civil society efforts, which insisted to include this subject in the working agenda of the National Council for Child Rights Protection under the aegis of the Prime-Minister of the Republic of Moldova.
“This way we acknowledge the need of State’s involvement in creating a safer Internet and the need to systemize and complement our actions in this direction. Moreover, we rely on the efficient implementation of the Action Plan based on the cooperation of the educational system, civil society, parents, children and even business representatives from the IT field”, says Ana Revenco, the President of “La Strada”.
The document aims at countering online harassment, mooring and distribution of illegal content. In this regard, the state authorities showed their availability to consult the best practices of other countries.
“Children should not be protected from the Internet, but educated in an appropriate way, to make them identify the situations of danger and to make them know how to react. This is the idea that we follow and communicate it every day on the portal www.siguronline.md. Knowing that the Internet became part of our life, just like we teach our children to stay safe in real life, we should teach them the same when it comes to the online space”, mentioned Ana Revenco.
The civil society representatives say that the Action Plan is the first step made by the state institutions to ensure a safer Internet. Previously, these institutions have already made more international commitments, after signing the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, adopted at Lanzarote, and the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Communications is the institution responsible for monitoring the execution of the Action Plan. A yearly report in this regard will be submitted to the Government.