Malta has addressed the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children (BIK) through a number of different national public policies focused on BIK-related issues. The overarching policy framework is represented by Digital Malta, National Digital Strategy 2014-20 which recognises the role of ICTs in empowering the economy and society, directly and indirectly, both as critical infrastructure and an enabling tool. Other important policy reference points include the Cyber Security Strategy 2016 which addresses cyber security on a national scale, and A National Literacy Strategy for All in Malta and Gozo – 2014-2019 which gives particular attention to digital literacy. Aspects related to cyber crime are covered under the Electronic Commerce Act (2002).
Policy design is distributed across four to six ministries. Policy design is led at ministerial level in relation to educational policies, tools and regulation for a safer environment and in terms of legislation and law enforcement against child sexual abuse and exploitation. There is no single coordinating body and, in practice, a diverse range of organisations and stakeholders implement policies and deliver outcomes which align with BIK strategy, even if this is not done purposely. Malta does not have one data collection point for BIK-related issues. Various BIK-related issues are however collected in various irregular data collection exercises.
Government ministries take the lead in carrying activities in relation to BIK with the exception of Pillar 1, quality online content for children which is jointly shared. The key ministries involved are the Ministry of Education and Employment, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, the Ministry for Family, Children's Rights and Social Solidarity, and the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security. The SIC is a consortium of key stakeholders from diverse ministries and agencies which coordinates some of the efforts related to BIK-related issues. Children are consulted in the policy process through the Safer Internet Centre (SIC) Youth Panel which is held on a regular basis. The Youth Panel is coordinated by the Office of the Commission for Children which in turn takes the young persons' views into account when drafting position papers and national guidelines which influence and, often, shape policies.
Breadth of activities
Breadth of activities outlines progress made in Member States delivering initiatives at the national level. Using the full range of recommendations contained in the BIK strategy, the following tables highlight which actions are supported and whether they have increased, stayed the same or decreased in prominence in the last three years for each of the BIK pillars.