Document Type

Book Chapter


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Information science (social aspects), Media and socio-cultural communication

Publication Details

in The Routledge Handbook of Children, Adolescents and Media, Dafna Lemish ed.


Children’s use of the internet has in the first decade of the twenty-first century become a matter of major policy concern. With increasing numbers of young people going online at ever-younger ages and through diverse platforms, governments, NGOs and industry stakeholders have demonstrably increased the attention given to matters of safety and child protection online whilst grappling with rapidly changing trends and technological developments. Policy in this area is most often framed in terms of the need to balance the hugely important opportunities the internet offers children whilst recognising that as minors they require protection. In addition, internet policy for children cannot be separated from international debates on the regulation of the internet, internet freedom and growing trends towards censorship and control of information.

This chapter briefly reviews the principal contours of internet policy for children, charting the growing international consensus on the need to balance digital opportunities for young people with the attendant risks they inevitably encounter. Internet use here refers to all online activities undertaken by children and all the connected devices employed for going online.