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Published 26.06.24

Considering children's rights in the Global Digital Compact

Torsten Krause, SDC

The United Nations is working on defining a Global Digital Compact. This is to be adopted in September 2024 at the Summit for the Future as part of the Our Common Agenda. The Global Digital Compact is intended to jointly determine the basic principles for shaping the digital environment. The aim is to align further development with common ideas and principles, for example with regard to connectivity, data usage and respect for human rights.

In the run-up to the resolution, the United Nations invited the public to participate in a consultation process for the second time, in which the Stiftung Digitale Chancen (Digital Opportunities Foundation) took part. During the first round of participation on 12 and 13 February 2024, we emphasised to the United Nations that, in addition to the fundamental consideration of human rights, special attention must be paid to the rights of children. In addition to protection, it is also important to realise provision and participation for young people. General Comment No. 25 on the rights of the child in the digital environment should serve as a guideline for action. The verbally presented position can be read here.

In our statement of 21 June 2024, we were able to build on the inclusion of corresponding reference points in the revised version of the Global Digital Compact and welcome the fact that all three pillars of children's rights (protection, provision, participation) have been anchored in the document as guiding principles for action. In this sense, attention is drawn to the fact that children should not only be seen as a vulnerable group of users worthy of protection. In order to utilise and expand the benefits and opportunities of the digital environment for children and young people, we expressly maintain the fact that the perspectives and experiences of different stakeholder groups should be taken into account in the processes. Appropriate processes and fora must continue to be provided for this purpose. The written statement submitted can be viewed here.