Advocates for the State Pact to protect minors in the digital realm call for regulations and measures that go beyond pornography


Advocates for the State Pact to protect minors in the digital realm – the European Association for Digital Transition, Dale una Vuelta, Fundación ANAR, iCMedia, Save The Children and UNICEF España – presented their initiative on Tuesday, February 13, in the Congress of Deputies with a symposium entitled “The protection of minors in the digital realm: a social and political challenge”. The event aimed to strengthen consensus and encourage the participation of civil society in the face of political and legislative initiatives expected over the coming months, following the announcement of a law to prevent minors from accessing pornography and the creation, from the Ministry of Youth and Children, of a working group of experts in which several of these organizations form part, among them the European Association for Digital Transition itself.

After opening the symposium with brief speeches by the president of the Congress, Francina Armengol, and the president of the European Association for Digital Transition, Ricardo Rodríguez Contreras, representatives from the six advocacy entities had a roundtable discussion that highlighted the need for the debate on protecting minors in the digital realm to go beyond the problem of viewing pornography.

Moreover, the need for stringent regulations that take into account the responsibility of online platforms and services, as well as the importance of educational and training programs to enable minors to exercise their digital rights safely, were emphasised.

The State Pact, supported by more than 140 entities from various fields, seeks to address these challenges comprehensively. Some of the specific measures proposed include:

  • Training for teachers in media education, from a thoughtful and critical perspective, with didactic approaches to encourage critical thinking in students.
  • Facilitating the development of skills and safe spaces on the Internet to promote social and civic participation of children and adolescents.
  • Implementation of detection, prevention and action plans in the area of education and within the family to provide tools for adolescents and their educators.
  • Establishment of an accountability framework for executives responsible for video sharing platforms and content distributors who fail to comply with the obligation to verify age.
  • Protecting children’s health and well-being: preventing health risks and threats to physical and psychological well-being while using digital technologies and promoting educational programs on digital health based on scientific evidence, as well as prevention measures and assistance.

Also participating in the symposium were the four institutions that have given their formal support to the State Pact proposal – the Spanish Data Protection Agency, the National Commission on Markets and Competition, Injuve and the Juvenile Unit of the Attorney General’s Office – and who participated in a specific roundtable where they explained their contribution to better protect minors in the digital realm. A political debate also took place among the spokespeople from the Ministry on Youth and Children from the parliamentary groups of the PP, PSOE, Vox, Sumar and Junts.

Finally, the day ended with conclusions by Rodríguez Contreras and a brief speech by the Minister of Youth and Children, Sira Rego.