"YPRT - Youth Protection Roundtable" was a project of the Digital Opportunities Foundation in 2006 - 2009.
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Public Papers

The YPRT Principles and Toolkit for the improvement of youth protection online

The 5th Youth Protection Roundtable Meeting was held as a conference open to the public intending to present the YPRT Principles and Toolkit to a broader audience and to discuss the impact of the YPRT's outcomes on a European approach to youth protection on the Internet.

With a view to the two different types of documents the Youth Protection Roundtable has developed, it is necessary to explain the interdependencies of both.
The YPRT Principles for the improvement of youth protection online are eight principles to which the YPRT members commit themselves and declare their intent to co-operate on their implementation and dissemination.
The YPRT Toolkit is a detailed catalogue of references for the improvement of youth protection online, comprising

  • a description of risks
  • a description of supportive technologies and their effectiveness
  • eight chapters of references
    • for technical developments in respect of educational issues and
    • for the use of filter technologies (product-neutral) and educational measures in private and public areas
  • an inventory of instruments and organisations of self regulation in Europe
  • an inventory of legal regulations as regards youth protection in Europe

With these documents, the YPRT follows an approach of shared responsibility for youth protection online. Bearing in mind that at the Youth Protection Roundtable technicians and providers of supportive technologies as well as providers of websites and online platforms gathered with educators and other stakeholders from children's welfare organisations, it was the intention of the YPRT to provide for final documents that comprise educational and technological strategies.

The eight YPRT Principles address various stakeholders and encourage them to have their share in the improvement of youth protection online, each in the area they can deal with most efficiently.

The YPRT Principles, on the one hand, encourage providers and operators to improve supportive technologies and also their products’ usability, to help users to protect themselves by implementation of supportive widgets and to implement policies for sustained Internet safety.
On the other hand, the YPRT encourages parents and educators to improve their literacy in regard to the use of digital media and supportive technologies but also in regard to making use of technology in an autonomous and responsible way and to raise awareness about the positive impact of Internet usage on young people’s development.

With the YPRT Toolkit each of the stakeholders has a bundle of references at their disposal, how to implement the principles practically into their own work. Several members of the YPRT presented their examples of implementation at the conference. While the Mannerheim League from Finland builds their strategy on the recommendations for the involvement of young people themselves in the empowerment for a safe use of the Internet, the German Kinderschutzbund places emphasis on training for parents. In addition to these educational efforts, the German company scoyo acceded the YPRT implementation process and showed how their platform for children's online learning will be shaped in accordance with the toolkit references. Several other organisations and companies expressed their interest to commit themselves to the YPRT Principles and asked for support and guidance in the process of implementation of the YPRT Toolkit's references.

How the YPRT approach spread beyond European boarders was shown by the Net-Aman Internet Safety Youth Group from Egypt. The young people presented how their work is supported by the YPRT outcomes, thus proving the value of the documents for stakeholders beyond Europe and showing their demand for co-operation.

We will continuously report on the ongoing development in further issues of the YPRT newsletter.

Available on the website since April 30, 2009