"The Internet offers access to education, information and play, but with children aged 10 years or younger accounting for 80 per cent of all child online exploitation victims, more needs to be done to protect children online."

Launched by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on July 26 2016, this series of tools provides guidance for information and communication technology (ICT) companies seeking to adopt or refine their policies, strategies, and programmes to reduce risks or maximise opportunities for children. The tools can be applied to a wide range of industry players including mobile operators, internet providers, social media platforms, and gaming companies.

UNICEF has developed these tools through collaboration with companies, governments, and civil society to promote children's rights related to the internet and associated technologies. UNICEF is also working with corporate partners to harness ICT technology to provide children with opportunities to become engaged digital citizens and use ICT platforms to learn, share, and communicate.

Specifically, Millicom and UNICEF, with support from Den Norske Veritas, developed the "Child Rights Impact Self-Assessment Tool for Mobile Operators", focusing on issues including product safety, child labour, security arrangements, and environmental impacts such as e-waste.

Together with the LEGO Group, UNICEF developed the Child Online Safety Assessment (COSA) tool to help technology companies assess whether they have the correct policies and systems in place to respect children's rights in the online world. The tool also outlines measures ICT companies can take to address challenges such as the transmission of child sexual abuse material, inappropriate content, and online bullying, but also offers advice on how companies can facilitate responsible digital citizenship, learning, and civic participation to advance children's rights to expression and information.

Both tools were open for consultation in early 2016 and received a range of inputs from both companies and civil society.

Furthermore, UNICEF and GSMA partnered to develop a Notice and Takedown Guide, which aims to support companies in establishing policies and practices that enable the prompt and effective removal of online child sexual abuse material.

In addition to these tools, UNICEF has developed training modules that can be used to build capacity within companies and among key stakeholders on child rights, as well as case studies demonstrating successful or innovative examples of how companies are tackling child rights issues and videos of industry representatives discussing why a commitment to child rights is necessary.


English, with some materials available in Spanish and French.


UNICEF website and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - both accessed on September 7 2016. Image credit: © UNICEF

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