Children's demands to Internet politiciansStiftung Digitale Chancen, Stiftung Digitale Chancen
Children have rights - offline and online. Could children’s right to vote contribute to the execution of their rights? What role does the Internet play in this regard? Within the framework of the re:publica, young people discussed these issues on the main stage of the Netzfest last week, along with Serina Taylor and Carla Golm from the children and youth advisory council of the German Children's Fund, the philosopher Leander Scholz, the media educator Martin Riemer, the scientist Dr. Ingrid Stapf and the childhood scientist Daniela Tews. In the end, the following demands to Internet politicians were phrased:
Children’s demands to Internet politicians
Participation on the Internet and in politics
- Listen to us and let us take part - on the Internet as well!
- Children’s interest must be taken into consideration in any decision taken in regard of the Internet.
- We want to be allowed to vote at a younger age, for example from the age of 12, since today children are well informed through the Internet and thus able to participate in decision making.
- We want children’s rights to be included in the constitution.
- There must be contact points that support us in exercising our rights and help us when our rights are infringed.
Empowerment in the Family
- When parents educate their children, they also need to be informed about the Internet.
- Parents must not infringe the rights of their children, such as the right to privacy.
- Politicians should support families and take measures to enable them to use the Internet.
Learning with and via the net
- We need digital technology in school but we also want to learn how to use it well, self-determined and safely.
- Children’s rights should be explained in school and should also be observed there.
- Every child should be able to access the internet anywhere, for example in libraries and youth centres, where we can learn more about the web and its rules.
Safety and Protection
- We want a right to have one’s data erased on the internet and someone who ensures this right is respected.
- A child’s photo should only be uploaded to the Internet with consent of the child, evidenced by a seal of approval tagged to the file.
- Providers of apps and websites must ensure that our rights are respected.
These demands were based on the voices of children and young people recorded before, during and after the session "Where are the voices of children in Internet politics" at the Netzfest 2019. They are supposed to be discussed during the re:publica and further on with political decision makers. We thank all young and adult people for their participation in the process.
The demands as PDF for download: Children’s demands to Internet politicians
Spotlight on Digital Spaces: towards a Comprehensive Understanding of Children's RightsStiftung Digitale Chancen
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in November 1989. It was visionary and at the same time comprehensible, binding on the signatory states and thus influential, and it is still of great importance today. Thirty years later, for a comprehensive understanding of how the rights of children codified in the Convention are to be interpreted and implemented in view of the impact of digitisation on their everyday lives, a so-called General Comment is now being drafted for the first time. The proposal submitted by the British 5Rights Foundation with the participation of various stakeholders, including the Children's Rights.digital project, was adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child of the United Nations in February and will be implemented within the next approx. one and a half years.
What is it about?
Today Children are growing up in an increasingly interconnected environment, where digital technologies have a significant impact on their living conditions. By elaboration of a General Comment this situation, and the specific rights of the child playing a key role in it, will be examined more closely. This will also involve clarifying the roles and responsibilities of politicians, businesses, parents, educators and children themselves. The aim of the General Comment is to provide a binding interpretation of how states can fulfil their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the context of digitisation of everyday life. This will set a new international standard for children's rights in the digital world.
What are the next steps?
In March, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child launched an online public consultation to gather comments on the direction and content of the General Comment. Contributions to the consultation can be sent as Word documents by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 May 2019; they should not exceed six pages. In parallel, preparations are underway for a global children's participation process to take place in the summer months of 2019, as well as for expert consultations from autumn 2019 onwards. A first draft of the General Comment is expected to be submitted at the beginning of 2019 for public consultation in another online consultation.
Further possibilities for participation
The Guidelines to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in the digital environment, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in July 2018, provide good guidance on the impact of digitisation on children's lives and the exercise of their rights. The guidelines are now also available in German language, prepared by the childrens-rights.digital project. You can download the document here or order a printed version via e-mail email@example.com
The United Nations Internet Governance Forum, which will take place for the first time in Germany from 25 to 29 November, offers a further opportunity to put the issue of children's rights and digitisation at the centre of the debate. Proposals for the IGF programme can be submitted until 12 April.
Bring in your ideas and comments as well as research results and practical experience and help to develop a contemporary understanding of rights to protection and freedom for the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child that meets the challenges of digitalisation of children's everyday lives.
Message from the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group ChairIGF Internet Governance Forum, IGF Internet Governance Forum
The first face-to-face Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Open Consultation and MAG Meeting of 2019 ?has just concluded in Geneva. The community and the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (IGF-MAG) ?reviewed activities across the IGF ecosystem and began advancing plans for IGF 2019 and ?associated intersessional activities.?You can find the full post on Lynn St.Amour's MAG Chair's Blog.
The Right to protection from sexual exploitation and violenceStiftung Digitale Chancen
The protection of children against sexual violence is the subject of the conference "Wissen was die Praxis schaf(f)t" in Berlin on 19th and 20th November. The right to protection is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN-KRK, Art. 19 und UN-KRK, Art. 34. Federal Family Minister Dr. Franziska Giffey referred to this and called for child protection to be strengthened in the new Child and Youth Welfare Act as well as in the new Youth Media Protection Act. Both are important legislative projects that shall be passed in this legislative period. According to the Minister, it is necessary to pay attention to signs of sexualised violence against children and to talk about them. At the same time, she called for low-threshold, permanent aid structures and competent specialised counselling centres, also in rural areas.
Referring to 18 November, the European Day on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Giffey called for the fight against such crimes to be better organised than organised crime; data protection should not lead to criminals being protected. In order to give children their right to protection, a child-friendly justice is needed; therefore it is important to include the rights of children in the German Constitution. Even if this will be only a phrasing of a few words, it will set a signal for children's rights.