In 2011, the OECD sought to respond to the then emerging concern that the increased use of the Internet by a growing number of children carried with it a number of risks that are specific to children. At that time a comprehensive report was released, resulting in the OECD Recommendation on the Protection of Children Online that was adopted by the OECD Council in 2012 with an instruction to review its implementation within five years of its adoption.

Consistent with the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Recommendation includes principles for all stakeholders involved in making the Internet a safer environment for children. It focuses on three main challenges faced by governments which underline the emerging nature of the protection of children online as a public policy area: the need for an evidence-based policy making approach, for managing policy complexity through enhanced policy co-ordination, consistency and coherence as well as for taking advantage of international co-operation to improve the efficiency of national policy frameworks and foster capacity building.

This report seeks to contribute to the review of the Recommendation by analysing new and emerging risks and identifying whether or not laws and policies have kept pace with advances in technology.

This analysis is supported (and founded upon) responses received from 34 OECD countries who replied to a 2017 survey that sought to: gather information on recent developments in children online protection policy; identify areas where the OECD Recommendation may need to be updated; and assess the potential impact of contextual changes (e.g. technologies, usages, threats, etc.).

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OECD Digital Economy Papers No. 295