Internet emergency button to let German kids click their way to help | Germany | News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 14.12.2011

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Germany

Internet emergency button to let German kids click their way to help

German Family Minister Kristina Schröder announced plans for an online child protection center to prevent and help young victims of cyber-bullying. She also suggested an Internet "emergency button" for kids.

A red button with a bell on it

A warning button should get kids the help they need online

Young people who feel threatened by what they see online should have a way to register what bothers them, according to German Family Minister Kristina Schröder.

"The goal is to support children and young adults when they are using the Internet," she said Tuesday in Berlin. "A click of the mouse should get kids the help they need."

Kids using a computer

Young people need to be aware of what they post on the Internet, Schröder said

The emergency button, which would notify a child protection center, was among the recommendations made by a working group of politicians and Internet experts to promote safety of children online.

Staff at the a yet-to-be-created created online center would come from child protection services, online companies and programs aiming to protect victims of crimes.

"Together they will take action against threats on the Internet with a focus on protection for kids and online competence for young adults," Schröder said.

Prepping parents

Schröder added that her ministry was working on plans to inform parents about laws made to protect minors in the media, including online media.

A Forsa study showed that while 95 percent of parents said protecting children online was important, only 20 percent of those questioned said they used programs intended to keep their kids out of harm's way.

"Parents often do not have enough information about what they need to do," Uwe Hasebrink, director of the Hans-Bredow Institute for Media Research at Hamburg University, told reporters.

Author: Sean Sinico (AFP, dpa)

Editor: Cyrus Farivar

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