Children's Rights Day 2021
Every year on 20 November, we celebrate the birthday of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the Children's Rights Committee on this day in 1989.
In 2021, there is a special birthday present: The 25th General Comment on the rights of children in the digital environment is now also available in German language and as a searchable html-file in English language.
Digital media play a role in all areas of children's lives, they are changing people's everyday lives and the way children grow up, offering opportunities and harbouring risks. In order for us to cope well with these changes, the 25th General Comment explains in a total of 125 paragraphs how to understand children's rights today, more than 30 years after the adoption of the UNCRC, and what needs to be done to realise children's rights also in the digital environment. The text gives all those who work with and for children a comprehensible basis and good justification for their efforts so that all children can benefit from the opportunities digitalisation offers.
The 25th General Comment was drafted by the Children's Rights Committee together with a group of child rights experts and adopted on 2 March 2021.
The translation of General Comment No. 25 of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child was carried out in a cooperation of the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft kommunale Kinderinteressenvertretungen - Verein zur Umsetzung der Rechte des Kindes auf kommunaler Ebene e.V. (Federal Association for the Implementation of the Rights of the Child at Local Level). (BAG Kinderinteressen e.V. for short) and the Monitoring Centre UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of the German Institute for Human Rights and edited with the assistance of an editorial team of which the project Child Protection and Children's Rights in the Digital World is a member.
All General Comments on the UN CRC translated into German language to date are also available as accessible PDF files at https://www.kinderrechtekommentare.de
Internet Governance Forum 2021: Children's Rights in the Digital Environment again in the FocusStiftung Digitale Chancen
From December 6th to 10th, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2021 will take place as a hybrid event. It will be hosted by the Government of Poland, which invites participants to join the event either on-site in Katowice or digitally via Zoom.
The theme of this year's IGF is "Internet United". Representatives from business, science and civil society will meet with high-ranking government representatives from all over the world and address the topics in various event formats:
- Economic and Social Inclusion / Human Rights
- Universal access and meaningful connectivity
- Emerging regulation: market structure, content, data and consumer/user rights regulation
- Environmental sustainability and climate change
- Inclusive Internet governance ecosystems and digital cooperation
- Trust, security, stability
The topics of children's rights and child protection are once again at the top of the Internet Governance Forum agenda this year. There is a clear focus on the realisation of children's rights to protection, empowerment and participation in the digital environment. This is also reflected in the name of the Dynamic Coalition on Child Online Safety, which started its work back in 2007 in Rio and is now called Dynamic Coalition on Children's Rights in the Digital Environment.
We have put together for you a schedule of the sessions that will cover aspects of children and young people growing up in a digital environment. This way you can decide which parts of the program are of interest to you. All sessions are designed to actively involve participants, whether they are on-site or online. Within the IGF week we will report from the event, with a special focus on these sessions.
Registration is required to attend the IGF here. It is recommended that you register in good time before the start of the event. You will receive a confirmation that entitles you to access the on-site events and the digital Zoom meetings..
IGF sessions on "Growing up in a digital environment"
- 10:25-11:10 Uhr, Hall A3: Day 0 Event #114 Keep Our Children Safe in The Digital World
- 12:00-13:00 Uhr, Hall A2: Day 0 Event #118 Freedom of speech on the Internet - what does it mean for young people?
- 12:00-13:00, Raum 4: Day 0 Event #101 Internet - safety and development of children and young people - educational, social and legal consequences
- 09:00-09:20 Uhr, Raum 7: Lightning Talk #85 Rapid notice & takedown - the key to getting child sexual abuse off the internet fast
- 15:00-16:30 Uhr, Raum 10: DCCOS Regulate or prevent to protect children - a false dichotomy?
- 17:00-18:30 Uhr, Raum 6: WS #170 Child Protection Online - How to legislate?
- 16:15-17:15 Uhr, Ball-Raum A: WS #133 Delivering children’s rights in the digital world
- 13:50-14:50 Uhr, Raum 3: Open Forum #39 Inclusive and Safe Connectivity for Children and Adults
- 17:05-18:05 Uhr, Raum 7: NRIs collaborative session: Securing the trusted Internet now for the generations to come. Special Focus: Child Online Safety
- 09:30-11:00 Uhr, Raum 6: WS #240 Education 4.0: Who is looking at cybersecurity?
World Children's Day 2021: Reason to celebrate children's rights in the digital world!Jutta Croll, Stiftung Digitale Chancen
Today is World Children's Day. This is a good occasion to let children from all over the world have their say. In our video you can hear and see what children and young people think about their rights in the digital world.
Last year, more than 700 children worldwide took part in workshops and exchanged views on the importance of the internet for their lives, where they would like to see protection but also more freedom and who can support them in this. They made very concrete suggestions on how the digital world can be made child-friendly and what needs to change.
The report Our rights in the digital world reflects the children's opinions.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has incorporated the results of the workshops into the 25th General Comment on children's rights in relation to the digital environment. This is currently being translated into German. We have already translated a child-friendly version of the General Comment, which was created together with children from the UK, together with children from Germany. The poster In our own words summarises the most important demands for a good and child-friendly growing up with digital media.
Since the adoption of the General Comment, governments in all parts of the world must ensure that children's rights are respected, protected and fulfilled in the digital environment. The General Comment is therefore something of a to-do list for government representatives, but also for other stakeholders involved in shaping the digital environment and for those who bear responsibility for children growing up well.
Today, on World Children's Day, we want to point this out and we want to celebrate that children's rights apply everywhere in the world - also in the digital space.
The European Digital Services Act must deliver for children5Rights Foundation, Stiftung Digitale Chancen
Children and young people have long-established rights and protections offline and a life mediated by tech must be held to the same standards. Our digital world is a purpose-built environment, shaped through conscious choices. We must choose to build a digital world that supports and empowers young people and upholds their rights. The Digital Services Act represents a singular opportunity to ensure that children’s rights are respected, embedded and upheld online.
Technology (or its absence) is now a defining feature of childhood. Yet children - who make up one in five users of digital services in the EU - live in a digital world designed by adults, for adults, and driven by commercial interests.
The problems children face from the digital world are systemic. They are not restricted to technical bugs or bad actors but are also present in the features and architecture of the products and services on which children rely for access to education, health, entertainment, civic engagement and to manage their relationships with family and friends. Children are routinely presented with information, behaviours and pressures that they do not have the developmental capacity to negotiate. They are introduced to unknown adults, nudged to make in-game purchases, targeted by dangerous or harmful content, bombarded with targeted advertising and misinformation, and subjected to invasive, extractive data gathering.
We need a better deal for children online, and in order to achieve this, children need to be recognised in the digital environment. The protections, privileges and rights which empower and support young people offline need to be upheld online.
5Rights Foundation, supported by the broader children’s rights, human rights, digital rights and consumer protection communities, calls upon the European Parliament and Council of Ministers to include a children’s clause in the Digital Services Act requiring all providers of services likely to be accessed by or impact on children to uphold their rights, undertake child impact assessments and mitigate systemic risks to children’s rights, based on statutory standards.
The DSA must guarantee a level of protection below which companies shall not fall, without precluding the provision of additional protections for children at national level, notably in view of technological innovations. The DSA's "one-stop-shop" enforcement mechanism should not inhibit the smooth and timely enforcement of children's rights throughout the territory of the Union.
Now is the time to build the digital world that young people deserve.