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VOICE project: Children share their values, opinions and insights about E-Safety

Safety of children online is a hot topic. Much needed policies, guidelines and regulations are developed, in many cases without considering the ideas of those concerned. Children have the first-hand experience to form their opinions and insights on e-safety. Together with ECPAT International and Eurochild, we have consulted children and their parents in 15 countries across the EU, Asia and Latin America. In our VOICE research we aim to bring the views of children and parents globally into the policy debate around safety standards and policies in digital environments.

VOICE project: focus group discussion with children in Bolivia

Making the internet a safe place

Worldwide, children are at high risk of online harm such as online sexual exploitation of children. Strong rules and regulations are needed to make sure the internet is a safe place where children can learn, connect and play. Currently, the Regulation to Prevent and Combat Child Sexual Abuse is proposed in the European Union which also contains rules about the online world to protect children. Unfortunately, children’s voices (and those of their caregivers) are being overlooked in the debate on online safety.

Voices from children

To fill the gap of overlooking children in the online safety debate, the VOICE project was initiated. VOICE stands for Values, Opinions, and Insights from Children (and Caregivers) about E-safety. We engage in collaborative, meaningful and outcome driven Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with children while concurrently surveying parents and caregivers in 15 countries across the EU (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Spain, The Netherlands), Asia (Bangladesh, Thailand and The Philippines) and Latin America (Bolivia and Brazil).

ECPAT International, Eurochild and Terre des Hommes Netherlands have joined forces for the VOICE project on behalf of the Down to Zero Alliance.

Read more about Down to Zero

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Online safety through children’s eyes

Through activities, children and young people discussed what they think about online safety and the balance between protection and privacy. The video below shows how we explained those topics to children and young people.  Adults were surveyed with similar questions about online safety, protection and privacy. Full of creativity, the children drafted messages they would like digital policymakers to know. 

After the first preliminary findings of the VOICE research, the full research report has now been published.

Read more about the first preliminary findings of the VOICE research
Download the report "Speaking up for change: Children's and caregivers' voices for safer online experiences"
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