Children and young people are active users of our services. We recognize our responsibility to empower and protect children, their parents and caretakers according to the Children's Rights and Business Principles.
- Respect and support children’s rights.
- Understand impact on children’s rights in relevant business activities.
- Block CSAM* in regions Sweden and Europe.
- Detect and report CSAM in internal IT systems in regions Sweden and Europe.
- Establish Children’s Advisory Panel.
- Initiated assessment for Children’s Rights and Business Principles.
- Implemented blocking of CSAM in regions Sweden and Europe.
- Implemented detection and reporting of CSAM in internal IT systems in six countries and in Telia Carrier.
- Introduced Children’s Advisory Panel in seven markets.
* Child sexual abuse material.
The internet enriches children’s lives and provides them with opportunities to improve their digital skills as well as to socialize, play and learn. Children, however, are particularly vulnerable to online threats such as cyber bullying and inappropriate content.
Our work is guided by group policies where children's rights shall be taken into consideration, by the Children's Rights and Business Principles, and by what we consider important societal challenges related to our services. 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 also a signatory of several self-regulatory industry initiatives covering areas such as parental control, child sexual abuse content, education and awareness.
Work during the year
Children’s Advisory Panel
To better understand children’s own perspectives on the online and digital aspects of their lives, we partnered with children’s rights organizations and schools to set up a Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP) in regions Sweden and Europe. Approximately 700 children participated in workshops and contributed with their ideas and knowledge about their lives online, and more than 50 children were interviewed in depth. Through the CAP, we aim to identify qualitative opportunities and the benefits of online activity for children and young people. More information is provided in the case below.
Fighting online child sexual abuse material
We actively participate in the fight against child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online. During the year, we ensured blocking of websites defined by law enforcement as illegal for hosting CSAM in regions Sweden and Europe. As Telia Company stands for and promotes an open internet, this is the only area where we have taken an active stand for voluntary blocking.
In regions Sweden and Europe, we activated technology that provides an alert if CSAM is detected anywhere in Telia Company’s own IT equipment. If CSAM is detected, a police report is filed and a criminal investigation is carried out. We are cooperating with other industry partners, law enforcement and NGOs such as ECPAT to develop this area further. During the year, we also ran a number of activities where we presented our approach and called for other companies to start similar detection.
In regions Sweden and Europe, 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.
During 2016, we focused on supporting the development of solutions for children to reach helplines via chat on mobile devices, as this seems to be the preferred way for children to communicate.
Fighting cyber bullying
In many of our markets, we educate children and parents on how to deal with cyber bullying and disrespectful behavior online. Activities include information in our stores, educational sessions at children’s summer camps and marketing campaigns such as the Swedish campaign “Hata hat” (Hate the hate).
Children’s Rights and Business Principles
We partnered with Save the Children Centre for Child Rights and Business for an assessment based on the “Children’s Rights and Business Principles” of how our operations impact children’s rights. Material and insights were collected through workshops, an online survey and interviews with key employees.
Telia Company is a co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation. During the year, the partnership was developed to focus on keeping children safe and in control online. We have also formed country level partnerships with NGOs with regard to child safety issues.
Planned work in 2017
The assessment based on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles will result in an action plan to be implemented in all operations to ensure that Telia Company respects and supports children’s rights.
The CAP findings will be shared through reports, seminars and online for further discussion in the industry and society about children as online citizens. They will also be used to improve our own approach to children’s rights as users of our technology.
We will cooperate with other industry partners, law enforcement and NGOs to develop the fight against CSAM online and to promote the work against online CSAM in the private sector as part of the work of supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals 16:2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.
Children’s Advisory Panel in Sweden
In Sweden, three partner schools hosted co-creation workshops where 6th and 9th grade students were given a challenge related to real life and the internet and had to work together to come up with solutions. The workshops were led by the local children’s organization Friends.
First, the pupils had to think about what they would save from the internet if everything online disappeared. The 9th graders at Ersängsskolan in Umeå proposed a long list of apps to rebuild. Among the “must have” apps were a communication app, a buy-and-sell app and video and film apps. After the ranking, the students discussed issues related to values spread online, net hate and the capacity of the internet to enable cultural exchange.
“The students we met stressed solidarity, consideration, inclusion and democracy. And there is a concrete demand for language apps to facilitate integration,” says Olle Cox of Friends.
“It will be very interesting to analyze the material to identify opportunities for improvement, both as a company and as an industry and society at large,” says Marie Trogstam, Head of Sustainability Strategy at Telia in Sweden.
Imagine the impact that could be achieved if all Communication Service Providers globally worked this way with blocking. An ethical, responsible business model like that used by Telia Company and the global work of ECPAT are key parts of the solution. Well done, Telia Company and ECPAT – children are safer because of you.
Neil Walsh, United Nations Chief of the Global Programme on Cybercrime