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EU bishops’ commission calls for stronger online safeguards for children

May 30, 2017

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) recently called upon EU institutions to defend the “fundamental right” of children “to be protected from the most harmful content” online.

On May 10, the CULT Committee (Committee on Culture and Education) of the European Parliament issued recommendations on child protection. The recommendations, COMECE observed diplomatically, “could have been more ambitious in regard to child protection.”

“The preservation of a ban on programs that involve pornography or gratuitous violence, as well as stronger provisions devoted to technical measures (e.g., parental control tools by default) would have guaranteed higher standards of protection for children,” COMECE added.

COMECE, however, praised the CULT Committee for retaining the words “moral development” in its text.

COMECE welcomed a decision by the plenary session of the European Parliament to permit the CULT Committee to negotiate with two other EU institutions about changes to its recommendations. In doing so, COMECE “encourages the EU institutions to prioritize child protection in the forthcoming negotiations.”

 
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