The Media Guide website is operated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, in conjunction with Kennisnet and other organizations from education and the media. The project has resulted in a comprehensive online resource, providing information which is split by target group and topic of interest. A large number of articles, lesson plans and informative articles have been uploaded on a variety of subjects, including Internet safety. Further information can be found in the Organizations section below.
Schools are advised on matters of safety (such as bullying, cyberbullying and sexual harassment) by the Center for School and Safety, which was established in late 2004 by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The Center, known as CSV, provides advice via its website and includes a comprehensive section on Internet safety, written with the focus on the issues that schools may face in securing their networks and protecting students from issues such as cyberbullying.
In August 2009, the Dutch Center of Research on Children, Adolescents, and the Media (CcAM) acquired a grant awarded by the Responsible Innovation Program of the Dutch National Science Foundation NWO. The grant funded a four-year (2009-20013) interdisciplinary research project into the causes and consequences of cyberbullying, along with an investigation of the effectiveness of established types of interventions in online communities.
In May of 2010 the Ministries of Justice and Economic Affairs launched an Internet safety campaign aimed at all web users, focusing on basic safety messages such as checking whether websites are secure, changing passwords regularly and enabling firewalls. These messages were delivered through radio and television advertising and a website.
A 2013 INHOPE report highlighted some of the accomplishments of the Dutch Safer Internet Centre in creative programming for online safety education. With MijnKindOnline and Mediawijsheid the Centre hosted a positive content competition with over 200 entries of safety apps and websites from professionals and children. In September, the Centre began touring an interactive theatre play about social media and online bullying called “Like” with actors portraying unpleasant but recognizable online behavior. The show was followed by an interactive session for children to re-enact scenes with the actors and have an open discussion about social media and bullying. Another campaign on online safety, ‘Think as a hacker’ received over 250,000 views.
Media Literacy Week is held annually in the Netherlands, with the 2016 event scheduled for November. An important part of the programming since 2013 is the game Media Masters, which provides children in grades 7 and 8 interactive assignments on how to deal with media in a sensible and fun way. In 2015, there were more than 100,000 students enrolled in Media Masters, which is more than a quarter of Netherlands 7th and 8th graders. After completing five days of Media Masters training, students receive a certificate and the title “Media Master.
Another annual project that the Netherlands is participates in is Europe’s “Get Online Week.” This project has been run by the non-profit organization Telecentre Europe since 2010. The project is dedicated to tackling social exclusion and poverty through ICT accessibility and technology literacy. For the 2016 programming as in past years, the Netherlands is offering grants for initiatives involving children and young people who are physically, mentally, or socially vulnerable to the ICT knowledge gap. Projects will be funded that help young people become technology literate through education, parent/guardian involvement, etc.
The Dutch organization Kennisnet releases research reports which detail the use and benefits of ICT in schools in the Netherlands. They provide up-to-date information as to the views of teachers, the availability of ICT equipment, statistics on both students’ and educators’ use of ICT, curriculum implementation strategies, etc. Overall, residents of the Netherlands are well provided for in terms of the amount of easily accessible internet safety information. Numerous websites exist, providing information tailored to specific target groups and regular government activity ensures that safety messages are frequently publicized. Details and websites can be found in the Organizations section below.
A site is managed by the Dutch Youth Institute (NJI) and provides information on child abuse for children and parents, organized into age groups. There are also stories of children who have experienced abuse, and what they have done to recover from it.
Digital Skills & Safety
A partnership between a number of government and non-government stakeholders that work to promote digital literacy and digital security in the Netherlands. The website provides information about computer/ICT skills and online safety.
Dutch Safer Internet Centre
The center is dedicated to informing the public about the safe use of computers and the Internet. It is an online knowledge base for individuals, containing a variety of information and tips on a range of subjects.
European School Network
This group was founded in 2006 to create an exchange network among nine European schools. ESN arranges one-to-one student exchanges for one to eight weeks, and also provides the possibility of teacher exchanges, group exchanges and student seminars.
This industry association represents the interests of European mobile network operators. The group engages in lobbying in areas such as children’s use of mobile phones, privacy, digital inclusion and reducing the digital gender gap. In 2008, the organization formed a mobile alliance against child sexual abuse content.
A part of the Hotline Combating Child Pornography on the Internet and offers users the chance to report online abuse. In addition, there is a large amount of information about Internet, chat and webcam safety, as well as details about cyber-grooming.
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Europe
The ITU is is the UN agency for ICTs. Areas of focus in Europe include improving E-accessibility in Central and Eastern Europe, transitioning Europe to digital broadcasting, and sharing best practices for implementing e-applications.
Internet Governance Forum
The IGF was founded by the UN in 2006 to serve as a discussion platform for internet governance policy issues. It brings together various stakeholders to determine best practices for internet policy. Past areas of focus include cybersecurity, human rights, inclusivity and openness.
INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its mission is to enable police forces to collaborate globally to fight crime in the Internet age. Three areas of focus are crimes against children (with a focus on internet crimes and travelling sex offenders), cybercrime and human trafficking.
“Knowledge” is a nonprofit, public educational organization which works to support and inspire Dutch schools and other educational institutions in the effective use of ICT. It is the Dutch member of European Schoolnet. A wide range of information is available on topics from basic computing skills to safe online behavior.
A brainchild of Kennisnet, in collaboration with partners from the corporate and nonprofit sectors. The site’s focus is media literacy and includes sections on Internet safety, netiquette, cyberbullying and other safety topics.
The website was launched by the Safer Internet Centre as part of the country’s efforts for Safer Internet Day 2012 and provides advice to children and their parents on a range of topics including cyberbullying, hacking and other online crime.
My Child Online
The organization supports parents in educating their children in the safe use of the Internet. The foundation is a collaboration between the editors of KPN Internet (a Dutch ISP) and Parents Online, the largest online community for parents.
My Digital World
The website is run by Digital Awareness & Digital Skills and is an online guide that covers everything from general computer security to online shopping, crime and the Internet, Internet in the classroom, children online, cell phones, etc.
National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
The Center is under the authority of the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) of the Ministry for Security and Justice. The NCSC is responsible for overseeing digital security and internet crime. The Centre also runs information campaigns and provides resources on online safety. Additionally, the Dutch National Police has specialized units on trafficking in human beings, sexual crimes against children, child pornography, etc. The Dutch police website also has reporting sites for reporting child sexual victimization and reporting cyberbullying and cyberstalking, a hotline for reporting child sex tourism, etc.
An initiative that is funded by the Ministry of Education and is part of the Center for School and Security (CSV). It targets children, adolescents, parents and teachers who encounter bullying at school, including cyberbullying. The site offers help by chat, e-mail or telephone.
The organizaion is dedicated to safe surfing with sections aimed at children, teenagers and parents. Topics covered by the website include online chatting, websites, e-mail, viruses, webcam safety, peer2peer sharing, etc.
Terre des Hommes Netherlands
This NGO focuses on stopping child sexual exploitation, child labor, child abuse and child trafficking in Asia, East Africa and Europe.
An independent private foundation opened by the Ministry of Justice in June 1996. It was created as a joined initiative of ISPs and individual Internet users. Their main objective is to contribute to the reduction of the distribution of child abuse images via the Internet.
Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT)
This international partnership was formed in 2003 by law enforcement agencies, NGOs and industry leaders. It aims to protect children from online sexual abuse, with the objectives of making the Internet safer, locating and helping at-risk children and holding perpetrators to account.
A Survey on the Transposition of Directive 2011/93/EU on Combating Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography (2016)Together Against Sexual Exploitation of Children
The study examines how seven key provisions of Directive 2011/93/EU on the fight against sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography have been adopted by the 27 European Union (EU) Member States bound by the Directive.
How parents of young children manage digital devices at home: the role of income, education and parental style (2015)Livingstone, Sonia, Mascheroni, Giovanna, Dreier, Michael, Chaudron, Stephane, Lagae, Kaat
The report compares strategies of parental mediation on the internet according to levels of parental education and household income. The aim was to inform policy-makers and practitioners on how to approach parental guidance and awareness raising.
Global Research Project: A Global Landscape of Hotlines Combating Child Sexual Abuse Material on the Internet and an Assessment of Shared Challenges (2015)Melissa Stroebe, Stacy Jeleniewski, PhD
This report examines hotlines combating Internet-facilitated Child Sexual Abuse Material.
Combatting Child Sexual Abuse (2015)Petra Jeney
The study provides an overview of existing legislation at European Union, Member State and the international level related to online child sexual abuse, as well as the role of law enforcement agencies in combatting child sexual abuse online and other governmental and private sector initiatives.
The impact of internet and new media on the occurrence of violence against children in Europe and Cyprus (2015)Rosella Sala
This document demonstrate that countries lack of expertise on child sexual exploitation and struggle combating this issue by their own. It suggests to establish an international legal framework to prosecute offenders and protect children.
Children's Use of Online Technologies in Europe (2014)K. Ólafsson, S. Livingstone, L. Haddon
This report reviews recent research on children’s use of internet and mobile technologies identified by the EU Kids Online network.
Mapping Safer Internet Policies in the Member States (2014)P. Baudouin, B. Mahieu, T. Dor, B. Good, J. Milayi, S. Nakajima
The purpose of the study was to set up a framework for analysing Better Internet for Children public policies covering EU Member States, and Norway and Iceland.
Policy Influences and Country Clusters: A Comparative Analysis of Internet Safety Policy Implementation (2014)B. O'Neill
The report examines the policy context of internet safety and looks at how countries within each cluster approach implementation.
Final recommendations for policy (2014)O’Neill, B., Staksrud, E
Combining all the EU Kids Online policy guidance into one resource, this report provides more than 30 proposed actions for making the Internet safer for children.
Country classification: opportunities, risks, harm and parental mediation (2013)Helsper, E.J., Kalmus, V., Hasebrink, U., Sagvari, B., and de Haan, J.
This report explores the range and type of online opportunities and risks experienced by children in each country. The ways in which parents mediate or regulate their children’s internet use is also examined.
In their own words: what bothers children online? (2013)Livingstone S., Kirwil, L., Ponte C. and Staksrud E., with the EU Kids Online network
The results of a survey of nearly 10,000 children in 25 countries across Europe, this report details what children say upsets them and their friends online
Media Literacy in Europe: 12 Good Practices that will Inspire You (2013)Evens Foundation
This document explores 12 cases across Europe of media literacy.
Zero to Eight - Young Children and Their Internet Use (2013)Holloway, D., Green, L., and Livingstone, S. with members of the EU Kids Online network,
This report reviews a number of other studies and provides recommendations as to how younger children can be protected from online risks.
Risks and safety on the internet: Comparing Brazilian and European children (2013)Barbosa, A., O’Neill, B., Ponte, C., Simões, J.A., Jereissati, T.,
This study compares the results of the survey of Brazilian children and their parents/guardians, carried out by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee. Using the same methodology as the EU Kids Online research, the results from Brazil are compared with those from Europe.
Country Classification: Opportunities, Risks, Harm and Parental Mediation (2013)Helsper, E. J., Kalmus, V., Hasebrink, U., Sagvari, B. and De Haan, J. with members of the EU Kids Online network
With data from 25 of the European countries surveyed in EU Kids Online, the report examines the range and type of online opportunities, risks and harm which children from each country experience, as well as looking at ways in which parents control or mediate their children’s Internet use.
EU Kids Online: National perspectives (2012)Haddon, L., Livingstone, S., EU Kids Online Network
This report summarizes the Internet experiences of children in the 33 participating EU Kids Online countries and includes eight countries which have not appeared in previous reports.
Excessive Internet Use by European Children (2012)D. Smahel, E. Helsper, L. Green, V. Kalmus, L. Blinka, K. Ólafsson
This report presents new findings and further analysis of the EU Kids Online 25-country survey regarding excessive use of the internet by children.
EU Kids Online: National perspectives (2012)Leslie Haddon, Sonia Livingstone and the EU Kids Online network
This report summarizes the Internet experiences of children in the 33 participating EU Kids Online countries and includes eight countries which have not appeared in previous reports
EU Kids Online: Excessive Internet Use among European Children (2012)Smahel, D, Helsper, E, Green, L, Kalmus, V, Blinka, L, Ólafsson, K,
This report uses the data from the EU Kids Online study to examine excessive use of the Internet by children in the 25 participating countries.
The Protection of Children Online (2012)Kristina Irion
The report provides key findings and policy recommendations to keep children safe online as a follow up to the 2008 Seoul Ministerial Declaration on the Future of the Internet Economy.
Safety and Security on the Internet Challenges and Advances in Member States (2011)World Health Organization
Evaluation of public health threat presented by the Internet in every Member States.
Risks and safety on the internet: The perspective of European children. Full Findings (2011)Livingstone, S., Haddon, L., Görzig, A., Ólafsson, K
Building on the original study, EU Kids Online I, this second piece of research includes the findings from research which took place in 25 countries. Children in the 9 – 16 age group were surveyed on their experiences of online use, risk and safety
Developmental Trajectories of Peer Victimization: Off-line and Online Experiences During Adolescence (2011)Sumter, S.R., Baumgartner, S.E., Valkenburg, P.M., and Peter, J
This research surveyed Dutch young people aged between 12 - 17. It investigates the overlap between offline and online victimization trajectories and their negative consequences on life satisfaction
Education on Online Safety in Schools in Europe (2009)Eurydice
The study covers 30 European countries and provides information on whether online safety is taught and how it is taught in schools within the participating countries.
EU Kids Online: Final report (2009)Livingstone, S., Haddon, L.
One of the foremost pieces of research into the online habits of children in the European Union is the EU Kids Online research, funded by the European Commission Safer Internet Plus Programme between 2006 and 2009.
Towards a safer use of the Internet for children in the EU - a parents' perspective (2008)Eurobarometer
The study covers 27 EU Member States and provides parental responses to a range of questions relating to Internet safety and their perception of risk.
U.S. /European Summit on Missing & Exploited Children (2005)International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
Participants from different governments, law enforcement, and nongovernmental organizations participated in the U.S. /European Summit on Missing & Exploited Children. They discussed successes and shortcomings of current efforts to address the global problem of missing and exploited children, and adopted a comprehensive Action Plan.
This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
The age of consent in the Netherlands is sixteen, as specified by the Dutch Penal Code, Articles 245 and 247.
The Netherlands has signed, ratified and entered into law the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime (November 2001).
- Article 240a, Penal Code. States that anyone who supplies, offers or shows to a minor who he knows or has reason to suspect is under the age of sixteen, an image, object, etc. that contains an image that could be harmful to a minor will be punished by up to one year imprisonment or a fine. Article 240b, Penal Code. States that anyone who disseminates, publicly displays, manufactures, imports, transits, exports, or has in stock an image or a data carrier containing an image of a sexual act involving a person who clearly has not reached the age of sixteen is liable to up to four years’ imprisonment or a fine. The penalty increases to up to six years’ imprisonment or a fine where the offender is considered a habitual offender, either by repeated commissions of the offense or carries out the offenses as their profession.
- Article 242, Penal Code. States that it is a criminal offense to compel a person into allowing an act comprising or including sexual penetration of the body, by an act of violence, threat of violence or threat of another act (rape). This felony is punishable by imprisonment of up to twelve years or a fine.
- Article 243, Penal Code. This article states that it is an offense to commit sexual acts that include penetration of the body where the victim is in a state of unconsciousness, impaired consciousness or physical incapability, or where the victim’s impaired mental development leaves them unable to give consent or indicate resistance. The punishment for this felony is imprisonment of up to eight years or a fine.
- Article 244, Penal Code. States that it is a criminal offense to perform sexual acts comprising or including penetration of the body where the victim is a person under the age of twelve. The offender is liable to imprisonment for up to twelve years or a fine.
- Article 245, Penal Code. Defines the crime of performing indecent acts out of wedlock comprising or including sexual penetration of the body with a person of between twelve and fifteen years of age. The offense is punishable by imprisonment of up to eight years or a fine. Article 246, Penal Code. This section states that it is an offense to compel another person to perform or to submit to indecent acts by means of an act of violence, threat of violence or threat of another act. The offender is liable to a term of imprisonment of up to eight years or a fine.
- Article 247, Penal Code. States that it is an offense to perform indecent acts with a person who is unconscious or physically unable to resist or suffering from such a degree of mental defect or mental disease that he is incapable or not sufficiently capable of exercising or expressing consent or of offering resistance. The article also states that it is a crime to perform indecent acts, outside marriage, with a person under sixteen years of age, or entice such a person into performing or submitting to such acts with a third party. The punishment for both offenses is imprisonment for up to six years or a fine.
- Section 248a, Penal Code. States that anyone who, by means of gifts or promises of money or goods or by abuse of the authority or deception, intentionally induces a person whom he has cause to suspect is under the age of eighteen years, to engage in lewd acts or to tolerate such acts performed by him will be punished with up to four years imprisonment or a fine.
- Section 248b, Penal Code. States that anyone who sexually abuses a person who makes himself available for the performance of sexual acts with a third party and who is between sixteen and eighteen years of age, will be punished with up to four years imprisonment or a fine.
- Section 248c, Penal Code. States that anyone who is intentionally present at the performance of lewd acts by a person whom he knows or has reasonable cause to suspect has is under eighteen years old will be punished with up to four years imprisonment or a fine.
- Section 248d, Penal Code. States that anyone who, with lascivious intentions, induces another person, whom he knows or has reasonable cause to suspect has not yet reached the age of sixteen years, to witness sexual acts, will be punished with up to two years imprisonment or a fine.
- Section 248e, Penal Code. States that anyone who, by means of a computerised device/system or by making use of a communication service, arranges to meet a person whom he knows or has reasonable cause to believe is under sixteen years of age, with the intention of engaging in lewd acts with this person or of creating an image of a sexual act with the minor will (if he undertakes any action intended to bring about that meeting) be punished with up to two years imprisonment or a fine.
- Article 250, Penal Code. States that anyone who 1) intentionally arranges or encourages the sexual abuse of his minor child or a minor child in his care, will be punished with up to four years imprisonment or a fine; or 2) intentionally arranges or encourages the sexual abuse of a minor or a person he suspects to be a minor by a third party will be punished with up to three years imprisonment or a fine.
- Article 273f, Penal Code. Outlines the specifications of the crime of human trafficking, which has a penalty of up to eight years imprisonment or a fine. If the victim is under sixteen years of age, the penalty is increased to up to twelve years or a fine.
- Article 285b, Penal Code. States that anyone who unlawfully, systematically, intentionally violates another person’s privacy with the intention of compelling that other person to act or to refrain from certain acts or to tolerate certain acts or to instill fear instilling fear in that person commits the crime of stalking and will be punished by up to three years imprisonment or a fine. (Cyberstalking can be punished under this statute.)
- Article 5, Data Protection Act. States anyone under the age of sixteen has to obtain the consent of their legal representative to publish personal data. This means that social networking sites in the Netherlands are obliged to obtain parental consent before disclosing a minor’s profile details to anyone but their friends - a default setting allowing anyone to see a child’s profile page is therefore illegal.
2001 - The Netherlands ratified and signed into law the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime, which among other things, criminalizes child pornography.
2005 - The Netherlands ratified the Optional Protocol to The Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
2006 - The Dutch Safer Internet Centre was established in 2006 with the goal of promoting safer internet and mobile use among young people. The Centre is the primary organizer of Safer Internet Day programming and provides online reporting services for online cases of child abuse. The Centre is a part of the Safer Internet Program of the European commission.
2010 - The Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice called for the restructuring and improvement of the government’s approach to tackling child pornography. The underlying objectives of the approach were to intensify the fight against Dutch child abusers and producers and distributors of child pornography; to identify and rescue more victims; and to contribute to international efforts to combat child pornography and child sex tourism.
Also in 2010, the Dutch Hotline combating Child Pornography on the Internet (part of the Safer Internet Plus Plan (SIAP) extended its work to receive reports of child sex tourism.
2012/2013 - The Dutch Police Force increased its efforts to address child pornography and child abuse. A new, national child pornography unit was established in collaboration with the national High Tech Crime Unit and regional police units with the goal of increasing child abuse and child pornography arrests by 25% by 2014. According to an RNW report on the topic, the number of officers handling child sex abuse cases was doubled to implement these changes.
2015 - Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre in The Hague (the seat of government in the Netherlands) hosts the Europol-Interpol Cybercrime Conference every other year. In 2015, the conference brought together about 350 cyber specialists from law enforcement, the private sector and academia from 66 countries to discuss international efforts and capabilities to fight cybercrime.