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Safer Internet Day 2021: A better internet for children and young people

Last Tuesday, 9 February 2021, was Safer Internet Day. Launched in 2004 and promoted by the EU-funded network of Safer Internet Centres in Member States, the day was celebrated online in more than 170 countries worldwide. The theme "Together for a better internet" is a call for everyone to join in making the internet a safer and better place, especially for children and young people.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

Young people need to feel safe and empowered when navigating the online world so that they can fully benefit from the digital world. With the EU Digital Education Action Plan we put digital education at the centre of Europe’s educational landscape, promoting digital literacy to tackle disinformation online, supporting educators and teachers, and ensuring quality online learning.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said:

The coronavirus crisis obliged us to move most of our daily activities online and when we let our children browse the internet, we want them to be protected. We are committed to make the digital transformation benefit everyone safely. What is illegal offline should be illegal online. We now expect the tech industry to play its part for a safer internet in respect of EU rules without delay.

The recently revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive requires online video-sharing platforms to restrict children’s access to harmful content and the Digital Services Act, proposed in December 2020, foresees specific obligations for very large platforms to address significant risks to the well-being of minors. Furthermore, the Better Internet for Kids platform, the pan-European resource hub under the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children, provides children, their parents and educators with a wealth of relevant information and resources. To better protect children online, the Commission also presented last year an EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse, focusing on cooperating with industry, enhancing prevention, strengthening law enforcement response and implementing and developing a strong legal framework.

More information

Safer Internet Day website