5Rights takes the existing rights of children and young people (under 18), and articulates them for the digital world. We believe that they should be supported to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly. 

5Rights responds to the Online Harms White Paper

July 2019

5Rights welcomes the importance that the White Paper ascribes to promoting the welfare of children and young people in particular, and we are pleased to see proposals that would hold companies to account for how effectively they uphold their published rules. However, we express concern that the more ‘everyday’ harms faced by children online are not given sufficient attention in the White Paper, and that in failing to take a truly risk-based approach, the proposals may fall short of driving a culture of safety-by-design.

Read our response

5Rights responds to the draft Age Appropriate Design Code

May 2019

5Rights Foundation has submitted its response to the Information Commissioner’s consultation on the draft Age Appropriate Design Code. 

The draft Code breaks new ground in setting out the specific protections that children merit in relation to their personal data, and it successfully challenges the status quo in which children’s presence is not accounted for by the online services they use.

We congratulate the Information Commissioner’s Office for its work to date and look forward to welcoming the final version of the Code when it enters into force. 

Read our response

The Age Appropriate Design Code: “A new deal between children and the tech sector”

April 2019

The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham CBE, has now launched a draft of the Age Appropriate Design Code for consultation. The consultation is open until Friday 31st May.

The Age Appropriate Design Code is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and sets out the specific protections that children require for their data. It will redress the balance between the needs and safety of children and the commercial interests of online services.

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5Rights Foundation: Towards an Internet Safety Strategy

January 2019

The inventors of the digital world imagined an environment in which all users would be equal, but in fact, 1/3rd of users globally and 1/5th of users in the UK are children; children who are growing up in an environment that systematically fails to recognise their age, meet their needs or uphold their rights.

In this paper, 5Rights Foundation proposes seven pillars upon which the Government’s Internet Safety Strategy could be built: parity of protection, design standards, accountability, enforcement, leadership, education and evidence-based interventions, in order to make a digital world fit for children and childhood.

Read our report

A child is a child until they reach maturity, not until they pick up a smartphone


At 5Rights, we work to support children and young people as they explore, play, learn and grow in the digital environment.  We do this by:

  • giving children a voice to articulate their needs and to meaningfully shape their digital environment. 

  • collaborating with designers, computer scientists, child development experts, user experience engineers, and academics to develop prototypes that show how the digital environment can be redesigned in children’s ‘best interests’.

  • publishing research to build and disseminate evidence on how best to meet children’s development needs online.

  • sharing knowledge to ensure that those with responsibility for children, including teachers, parents, social workers and policy-makers make informed decisions.

  • developing a digital literacy framework that tackles questions of motivation, citizenship and digital engagement, alongside discussions of ‘21st century’ skills necessary to flourish in the digital environment. 

  • building a consensus on the need for a global governance structure that would establish universal standards of age-appropriate design online.

The 5Rights Framework articulates the rights and commonly held principles enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNCRC) for the digital world. Rights that protect them from commercial exploitation, offer the highest standards in wellbeing and education. Rights that protect them from violence and harm, and give them privacy.

The demand to create a better digital environment for young people is often synonymous with a call to curtail access. 5Rights does not support this view. We welcome the rapid growth of the digital environment but work to ensure that it meets the needs of young people.

What we do

BLOG: From African American Apocalyptic Fiction to Children’s Rights in the Digital Environment, by Colin Gibson

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The Age Appropriate Design Code: "A new deal between children and the tech sector"

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5Rights welcomes Online Harms White Paper, calls for swifter legislation

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Working with the Government of Rwanda and Police Scotland to support children online

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House of Lords Select Committee on Communications Publish Report ‘Regulating in a Digital World’

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