Empowerment through education for children online

Addressing a summit on ‘Responsible Internet’ at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels today, Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South, Catherine Noone, has today (Wednesday) highlighted the challenges facing children and the internet.

“Children must have the ability to exercise their choice when using the internet, but, at the same time, parents must be able to know that they are choosing between a suite of safe options. Our goal in regulating isn’t to take away the element of choice but, rather, to make sure that all the choices meet some minimum standards.

“It is about allowing our citizens to the internet responsibly knowing how to ignore or shut out the worst aspects of the internet. The goals for Ireland and for Europe in terms of creating a more responsible Internet are one and the same. Indeed, these goals don’t even apply exclusively to youths, they are universal and should be a goal as we move towards a responsible internet.

“Internet safety is now a priority for governments, child protection groups and those involved in the NGO sector. There is a clear way for children to safely use the internet without fear of bullying. Citizens need to have the ability to empower themselves online through digital learning, so that society feels secure and protected while they, or their children, are on the internet.”

“It is through this avenue that Ireland and Europe can promote a more responsible Internet; individual education and empowerment will always be a far more effective tool than centralised policing. Ultimately, it is a matter of finding a balance and I intend to make sure that Ireland strives to find the right balance.”

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