All digital devices should be easy to use parental control and filtering and blocking tools pornographic material integrated by default in order to fight against the exposure of children to adult content, recommends the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). These control tools should be “systematically activated in public spaces, such as schools, libraries and youth clubs”.
Unanimously adopting a resolution based on the report prepared by Dimitri Houbron (France, ALDE), the parliamentarians expressed their deep concern at “the unprecedented exposure of children to pornographic imagery, which harms their psychological development and physical”. This exposure, they said, “brings increased risks of harmful gender stereotyping, porn addiction, and early, unhealthy sex.”
The adopted text invites Member States to examine existing means and provisions to combat the exposure of children to pornographic content and to fill the gaps in relevant legislation and practice “with a view to better protecting children”. She calls for relevant legislation to ensure that dedicated websites hosting adult content and mainstream and social media that include adult content are required to use age verification tools.
The text also recommends the introduction of an alert button or similar solutions allowing children to report accidental access to pornographic content, and considers follow-up actions, such as warnings or sanctions for the websites concerned. .
The parliamentarians called for a public debate on children’s exposure to pornography and ways to address the problem. .