MOSCOW, June 1 (RAPSI) — Members of the Russian Civic Chamber invite all concerned citizens to join the parent community's memorandum on the protection of children on the Internet and social networks.

The document was prepared on the basis of the recommendations the Civic Chamber had developed in cooperation with public organizations in order to prevent involvement of minors in illegal activities on social media. The release of the text is timed to coincide with the Children's Day, June 1.

The memorandum stresses that when online minors gain access to pornography, scenes of cruelty, extremist information, and also become victims of manipulation and propaganda. At the same time, the insufficient regulation of this issue by the state, according to public figures, suggests that the commercial interests of international companies which operate social networks are above not only the norms of Russian laws, but also the interests of children and the parental community. 

The document calls on the authorities to take systemic measures to counter dangerous content and manipulation. In particular, it is proposed to strengthen control over the safety of children and their personal data on social networks, over age marking of content and inaccurate information. According to the authors of the memorandum, it is necessary to legislatively establish age identification of materials published on social networks and limit the age of self-registration there for minors.

Civic activists call for the development of special SIM-cards for minors that will allow parents to identify their children on the Internet, as well as monitor how they spend their money. In addition, these SIM cards should provide children with free access to educational content.  

The document also supports the requirement to register companies representing foreign social networks on the territory of the Russian Federation.

In addition, the memorandum proposes to conduct sociological researches on the impact of dangerous content on children, monitor if digital environment is safe, and train parents and teachers as to ensuring the information security of children. According to the authors of the document, it is important that each child has the opportunity to do what is in his or her interests, for which it is necessary to study the situation with the sports, educational and hobby facilities for minors in Russia in order to create a map of the infrastructure of childhood, on which parents and children can find all the respective facilities, enroll in them, as well as vote on all the issues that are important specifically for children.

This year there were a lot of worries about the safety of children when on social networks, their involvement in illegal actions. Therefore, by the decision of the Civic Chamber, this special memorandum has been developed as a part of the big project Decade of Childhood, which is being implemented at the initiative of the President of Russia. One of the main areas of this project is safe information environment. So the task is to make this environment not only safe, but also child-friendly, Sergey Rybalchenko, Chairman of the Commission on demography, protection of family, children and traditional family values said.

According to the deputy chairman of the commission, Yulia Zimova, the memorandum was prepared with participation of Chamber members, public organizations, the parent community, and, on a number of issues, the children themselves. 

The purpose of the memorandum is to get as many people as possible to think about how we can protect our children and make their voice heard so that they feel comfortable, she concluded.