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Published 09.03.23

Children’s Rights feature prominently in submissions for the IGF 2023 program


Each year, the thematic focus of the IGF is determined by the community in a joint survey. For the 18th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) hosted by the Government of Japan from 8 to 12 October 2023 in Kyoto all stakeholders were invited to take part in the process. They were given the opportunity to select up to three themes and up to three issues under each theme that they think should be represented at this year’s IGF.

Stakeholders could select the following ten thematic areas:

  1. Cybersecurity (17%)
  2. Emerging Tech (15%)
  3. Universal Access (13%)
  4. Data Governance (13%)
  5. Rights and Freedom (11%)
  6. Digital Cooperation (10%)
  7. Economic Issues (7%)
  8. Environmental Sustainability (7%)
  9. Media and Content (6%)
  10. Technical and Operation Topics (2%)

From a child rights perspective we welcome the high number of stakeholders from all regional areas having submitted issues regarding children’s rights and we expect this year’s IGF will have a strong focus on children and young people. Child online safety was seen as the most important issue under the thematic area Cybersecurity, and children’s rights online was the most often chosen issue under the thematic area Rights and Freedom. In addition, many submissions were made concerning youth engagement. In the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) child online safety and children’s rights online were among the four most often submitted issues.

The call for thematic inputs was open for almost 4 weeks, from January 6 to January 31, 2023. 193 stakeholders marked 524 themes and 945 issues in the IGF online submission system. The biggest number of submitted issues came from the African region and the civil society stakeholder group. A full list with all received submissions as well as an analysis of the results is available on the IGF website.

We thank all child rights advocates for their engagement in order for children’s rights to feature prominently in the IGF program 2023.

Based on the results of the call the Multistakeholder Advisory Group has set the thematic focus and program for the IGF 2023. The overarching theme of this year’s IGF is "The Internet We Want - Empowering All People" and will address the following topics in various event formats:

  • AI & Emerging Technologies
  • Avoiding Internet Fragmentation
  • Cybersecurity, Cybercrime and Online Safety
  • Data Governance and Trust
  • Digital Divides and Inclusion
  • Global Digital Governance and Cooperation
  • Human Rights and Freedoms
  • Sustainability & Environment

The Call for session proposals is under planning and expected to open in early April 2023.