The European Parliament is backing proposals to introduce a new .kid top level domain (TLD) just for children to "protect them from inappropriate content on the internet".
The new TLD - similar to .com or .org - would be restricted to sites especially tailored for youngsters with content regularly vetted and approved by an independent body.
The proposals form part of a report submitted by French MEP Marielle de Sarnez who called for children to be given greater protection online.
Proposing a package of measures de Sarnez also called for the introduction of an Europe-wide toll-free telephone service for parents and teachers to find out about how to filter unwanted content and to report unsuitable material.
Such a move should also be backed by an information campaign to warn people of the dangers of the net, said de Sarnez.
Despite these proposals, MEPs claim they are realistic enough to admit that no method of protection is totally effective on its own.
"It is therefore essential to co-ordinate all protective measures, including parental control, criminal penalties as well as the involvement and accountability of economic operators," said MEPs in a statement.
"It is felt that educators could not solely rely on technology, but also that businesses could not escape their responsibilities under the pretext that parental control would suffice and that governments had a duty to introduce rules that would protect the weakest members of society." ®