Children’s rights

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Ambition:

  • Respect and support children’s rights
2017 progress
  • Children’s rights awareness workshops with 200 key employees
  • Blocking of websites containing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in all core markets
  • Detection and reporting of CSAM on internal IT systems in all core markets
  • Shared knowledge regarding detecting CSAM with other large companies
  • Established first Children’s Advisory Panel with 700 kids participating
  • Active contribution to the establishment of the EU Alliance to better protect minors online
2018 goals
  • Understand our impact on children’s rights in relevant business activities
  • Block CSAM in core markets
  • Detect and report CSAM in internal IT systems in core markets
  • Establish Children’s Advisory Panel
2018 planned activities
  • Carry out second round of Children’s Advisory Panel with focus on children’s privacy and integrity online
  • Develop and publish a set of Children’s rights guidelines for tele-communications companies
  • Implement Children’s Rights and Business Principles action plan, including the committed actions to the EU Alliance
  • Develop and roll out a set of tools for employees to engage in children’s rights online

 

Our approach

Our work is guided by group policies where children’s rights are taken into consideration, by the Children’s Rights and Business Principles and by what we consider to be important societal challenges related to our services such as net bullying and online privacy. Most of the practical implementation of our commitments is integrated in local operations, with group-level oversight and coordination. In early 2017, Children’s rights became a Responsible business focus area.

We are a signatory of several self-regulatory industry initiatives covering areas such as child safeguarding services, child sexual abuse content, education and awareness. In early 2017, we joined the “Alliance to better protect minors online”, a major self-regulatory initiative of the European Commission, together with other technology and telecom companies, broadcasters, NGOs and UNICEF.

Work during the year

Increasing internal awareness

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles impact assessment was concluded at the beginning of the year. An action plan was issued and implementation began. The most important measure is to increase internal awareness of how children are affected by our operations. Several workshops were conducted with employees in key functions in the company, such as the Consumer and Enterprise divisions, Sourcing, TV and Media.

Continuing to fight CSAM

We actively participate to fight against CSAM online. During the year, we continued blocking websites in core markets defined by law enforcement as illegal for hosting CSAM. Since we stand for and promote an open internet, this is the only area where we have taken an active stand for voluntary blocking.

In core markets, we continued to apply a technical solution that provides an alert if CSAM is detected anywhere in Telia Company’s own IT systems. At such detection, a police report is filed and a criminal investigation is carried out. A number of detections and subsequent police reports were filed during the year, resulting in dismissals.

We are cooperating with industry partners, law enforcement and NGOs such as ECPAT to develop this area further. During the year, we participated in ECPAT Sweden’s initiative to establish a telecom coalition against sexual exploitation of children online in Sweden and advised a number of large companies on how to initiate CSAM detection in their IT systems.

Children’s Advisory Panel

Key findings from the Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP), where we together with local children’s rights organizations asked young internet users about their lives online, were presented in a report and at various events. See the highlight below for more information.

The insights from the CAP help us to better understand how we as a company can improve our own approach to children as users of our technology, and it now constitutes a foundation for our activities involving children online in our core markets.

Based on the findings from the 2017 CAP and taking into account the new EU data protection regulation (GDPR) that will come into effect in 2018, the 2018 CAP will focus on privacy. Based on the findings, we plan to support children to develop their own recommendations how to protect their privacy online.

Child safeguarding services

In core markets, we offer child-safeguarding services that enable caregivers to set time restrictions for browsing and block websites with inappropriate content. We also offer mechanisms that enable caregivers to limit exposure to unsuitable TV content.

Online safety training and information

In many of our markets, we educate children and parents on how to deal with online safety, including cyber bullying and disrespectful behavior online. Activities include information in our stores, educational sessions in schools and at children’s summer camps, as well as marketing campaigns such as Telia in Estonia’s campaign Suurim Julgus (“Greatest courage”). We estimate that we discussed online safety face to face with 75,000 children in core markets during the year.

Child helplines

We continued to support national helplines with anonymous and free-of-charge phone services to children in core markets.

Partnerships

Telia Company is a co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation. The focus of the partnership is on keeping children safe and in control online. We have also formed country level partnerships with NGOs such as Save the Children with regard to child safety issues.

 

HIGHLIGHT

Key findings from Children’s Advisory Panel

In March, we released the Children’s Voices report, a summary of our CAP workshops. Key findings were:

  • CAP kids embrace opportunities in their lives online. It is their go-to channel for searching for information, social engagement and communication as well as entertainment and passing time. CAP kids show a high degree of maturity and resilience in their online presence. They are aware that they should be concerned about the reliability and trustworthiness of online content and they use different strategies to tackle these concerns.
  • CAP kids care about their own and others’ online identities. They are very particular about how their identities are composed and portrayed, at the same time being aware that the online identities of others are not always truthful either. When it comes to online behavior, children refer to an established unwritten “code of conduct” common to all Nordic and Baltic countries, that is (largely) invisible to adults.
  • CAP kids need good connectivity for social inclusion and they expect presence and guidance from adults, however, from a distance. The adults’ role is to take care of the infrastructure and administration – providing an organized, safe online environment – but to hold back in other participation and remain invisible.