Start International Forum “Child Safety Online” in Chisinau: United in global effort to protect children in the digital environment!

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova is pleased to announce the commencement of the International Forum “Child Safety Online”, held in Chisinau on Februarie 15 and 16, 2024. The Forum brings together international experts, government representatives, European Union officials, representatives of the Romanian Senate, Ministers from the Government of the Republic of Moldova, diplomats, ICT professionals, as well as civil society representatives, who will engage in discussion and cooperation on matters related to child protection in the online environment.

The Forum has been inaugurated by President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, and European Commissioners for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson.

The event is organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in partnership with the International Center “La Strada” Moldova with the support of the U.S. Department of State and EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova.

Key topics of the Forum include:

  • Legislative initiatives and good practices at EU and national levels to combat online sexual abuse and exploitation of children;
  • Relevant European strategies and legislation and Ireland’s experience in implementing an integrated approach to online child safety measures;
  • Fostering cross-sector cooperation and law enforcement standards to combat online sexual abuse;
  • Implementation of the Digital Services Act and national priorities in the context of the EU accession agenda;
  • Digital education and development of online safety skills among children, with a focus on EU policies;
  • Secondary prevention through measures targeting sex offenders, including the establishment of a national sex offenders register.

A highlight of the Forum is the NGO Fair – an exhibition showcasing resources, technologies and materials dedicated to child digital protection and online safety. This fair provides a platform for the exchange of ideas and innovative solutions among organizations.

For those unable to attend in person, the event is being livestreamed on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Internal Affairs both in English and Romanian: 

ROU https://www.facebook.com/MinisterulAfacerilorInterneRM/videos/186221224584300/

ENG https://www.facebook.com/MinisterulAfacerilorInterneRM/videos/1326539471344196/

Furthermore, participants have the opportunity to submit questions to speakers through a dedicated form available online at https://forms.gle/egyYnraRfqBHE2WZ9.

„Protection of children cannot merely be a political or governmental objective; it is an ethical and moral goal to which we all must contribute – parents, the society, state institutions and even international cooperation entities. European integration also means a whole network of states fighting together for better child safety; it also means more effective mechanisms to protect the young”, said President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu.

European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, stressed the importance of continued international cooperation and sharing of best practices: “The issue of child sexual abuse is not an easy one to talk about. But we must. Children have no power. We give it to them. We must use our power to put an end to child sexual abuse. I congratulate President Sandu and the Government of Moldova for prioritizing this fight. We have made detailed EU legislation to ensure we have longer statute of limitations to report crimes and to fight the use of artificial intelligence to create new images based on child sexual abuse content.”

“By becoming a member of the INHOPE global network in 2023, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has set out to align the national strategy in home affairs with the EU vision on the fight against organized crime in terms of child sexual exploitation, which sets new prerogatives and development directions in the field for the period of 2022 – 2026, including the development of interinstitutional cooperation to increase the capacities to protect children from online sexual abuse and exploitation and the response capacity for identifying offenders. In terms of legislation, in addition to the ratification of several international treaties such as the Budapest and Lanzarote Conventions, our specialists together with those from the justice system are working to remove barriers and loopholes in our Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the law on information society services, which make it difficult to identify offenders and bring them to justice immediately”, stressed the Minister of Internal Affairs, Adrian Efros.

In his speech, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Kent D. Logsdon, mentioned that the Forum marks an important step in advancing child online protection agenda in the Republic of Moldova, aligning with the European standards and directives. „This event underlines the strong commitment of the Republic of Moldova and its international partners to ensure a safer digital environment for all children”, Ambassador Logsdon added.

Through joint efforts and international cooperation, we are committed to making the internet a safe environment for all children.

We stay united in our global effort to protect children in the digital environment!