5Rights Foundation joins the End Violence community as a new grantee

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Online

Children in Rwanda

5Rights Foundation, an organisation that works to make the internet safer for children, has joined the End Violence grantee community for the second time.

“The prevalence of child sexual exploitation in the online space is slowly becoming the new normal,” said Robert Posner, the Director of Operations at the 5Rights Foundation. “By taking a systemic approach, we hope to help inform states and third parties in areas of child protection that they may not have considered, including safety-by-design, data protection and more.”

With their new project, 5Rights is building on its past work with the University of East London, an initiative that led to the development of a child online protection policy and implementation plan for Rwanda, which was also supported by End Violence. The Government of Rwanda passed this policy in June of 2019.

The University of East London was 5Rights’ academic partner and provided the academic background for the child online protection policy we wrote for the Government of Rwanda. This work, together with collaboration with the University of Rwanda, was essential to understanding the needs and gaps that countries may have when it comes to issues related to child online protection and provides a good starting point and gives us a clear set of questions for this new project.

Robert Posner, the Director of Operations at the 5Rights Foundation

5Rights is using support from the Fund to create a global policy handbook, which will outline the steps needed to develop the cultural, technical and legal conditions to ensure the protection of children online. Specifically, this handbook will offer the necessary roadmaps, signposts, and examples of good practices to bring the Model National Response to life and to address knowledge gaps in relation to child online protection.

“Ensuring the safe and secure access for children and young people to digital services has never been more urgent,” Posner said. “But to achieve safe and secure access we have to build an institutional and political understanding of the risks children and young people face, and then put in place robust policies to mitigate harms. The Global Child Online Protection Handbook will set out best practice across all policy areas and provide states with best practice examples from around the world from which to build their own practice.”

It will draw from the rich experiences that the End Violence Fund grantees have had in implementing the Model National Response in Albania, Ghana, Jordan, Peru and Vietnam.

"The Fund's approach to investing in and supporting the field of child online protection has always been to keep an eye on the work that has the greatest potential for scale and impact," said Marija Manojlovic, the Strategy and Innovation Advisor and Child Online Safety Lead at the End Violence Partnership. "By partnering with 5Rights to create the global Child Online Protection Policy Handbook, we are building a global public good that, once tested and finalised, has the potential to become a blueprint for national stakeholders seeking to build strong foundations for an integrated response to the needs of children online.”

Set to be completed in June of 2021, the handbook will provide a comprehensive, holistic guide across the entire value chain of responsibility and digital innovation, distribution, consumption, along with education, awareness and enforcement.

“A safer digital world for children must be the only digital future we want,” Posner said.

Photo: UNICEF/UNI245120/Kanobana