The Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and is based in Strasbourg, cannot impose its will on governments, but is highly influential in policy-making and has often seen its decisions enacted through conventions and treaties.
The committee is composed of 84 MPs and politicians from member states, and its vice-chairman is Lord Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister. Its members reviewed the latest research on the effects of electromagnetic fields and took fresh evidence from experts before reaching its conclusions.
The draft resolution will now go before the council's full Parliamentary Assembly for approval.
Public health and telecommunication experts are divided on the dangers posed by mobile phones and other wireless devices.
Other researchers have found no association between short-term mobile phone use and cancer. A major epidemiological study published last year found no increased risk of cancer from using mobile phones over a ten-year period.
“Mobile phone technology is clearly incredibly beneficial and useful, but we have to weigh up those potential health effects, so it is responsible to do research on that. In children, that research has not yet really been done, so we need more research in this area. In the meantime the advice is not to be excessive in use.”
Powerwatch, a campaign group that aims to raise awareness of the risks from electromagnetic fields, welcomed the draft resolution. A spokesman said: “It is long past the time when governments all around Europe should have started being more precautionary about these issues.”
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, warned that a ban on mobile phones and wireless networks in schools would bring widespread disruption.
He said: “The impact on schools would be enormous. Most schools have Wi-Fi networks now, while pupils and teachers carry mobile phones. Many schools are shifting towards far more mobile computing so pupils can have laptops they can take home to do their homework on. This would prevent all of that.”
A Department of Health spokesman said: “As you would expect, we keep all available scientific evidence under review. Our guidance remains the same. Children should only use mobile phones for essential purposes and keep all calls short.”