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Published 20.11.17

November 20th 2017: Today is International Day of Children´s Rights

November 20th 2017: Today is International Day of Children´s Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is celebrating it´s 28th birthday. Since the adoption of this convention the world has been changing, today internet, apps and online games are a matter of fact for children. They bring new opportunities for playing and learning and they can strengthen the rights of children, but they also carry endangerment.

To understand and realize children´s rights today we have to consider benefits as well as risks of digitization and engage in the children’s digital world. Every child has the right to access to digital media, to education with digital media and to media literacy education. Of course the right to information and freedom of expression is reinforced by the internet but obviously the protection from new forms and phenomena of discrimination, for instance cyberbullying or hate speech, must also be ensured. The Convention on the Rights of the Child guarantees the right to leisure, play and participation, but so far digital playgrounds are not (yet) established as a matter of course. The privacy of children has become more vulnerable through the internet, violence and abuse are present also online. Therefore the digital world must provide for measures of protection appropriate to the children’s age and evolving capacities.

On World Children’s Day it’s about time to strengthen children’s rights in the digital world. As for children the internet does not turn the world upside down but it makes the world bigger, more colorful and diverse.

In the course of international co-operation the project childrens-rights.digital took part in the World Congress on Child Dignity in the Digital World at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Oct 3rd to 6th, 2017, and developed a program for the implementation of the „Declaration of Rome“, presented in an audience to Pope Francis on Oct 6th. The declaration urges governments, companies and the civil society to undertake measures to ensure the protection of the rights and the dignity of children in the digital world.

The Declaration of Rome is available here.