Australian youths help shape global online safety

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) announced it is taking ten youths to London next week to be part of the world's first congress aimed at giving youth a voice in how they are protected in the online environment.

The International Youth Advisory Congress (IYAC) will bring together 150 youths from around the globe to develop a strategy with law enforcement agencies worldwide to ensure online safety and security for youths.

AFP National Manager of High Tech Crime Operations Andrew Colvin said that the IYAC is an extraordinary opportunity for law enforcement agencies around the world to listen to those who have grown up with the internet.

"We recognise that our investigators were not born in the internet era and that can make protecting today's youth a challenge, that is where the congress can help us," Mr Colvin said.

The youth will come face-to-face with those responsible for internet safety and security including representatives from government, industry, law enforcement and media.

A Children and Young People's Global Online Charter will be developed by the youths and law enforcement agencies and will be presented at the World Congress III Against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents being held in Brazil in November. The ultimate outcome is an amendment of the United Nations Convention of the Right of the Child in 2009.

"We have to remember that enforcement activity alone will not solve this issue. Education, prevention and awareness among youth, parents, teachers and the community is required. Every youth we educate and make aware of risks involved on the internet is a youth potentially saved from becoming a victim," Mr Colvin said.

The congress, which will run from 17-21 July in London, is being led by the United Kingdom Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and is supported by the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), of which the AFP is a member.

10th July 2008

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