5Rights makes case for children’s rights at IGF, Berlin 2019

In November, Baroness Beeban Kidron, 5Rights Foundation; Gehad Madi, Vice Chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC); Dr Amanda Third and Professor Sonia Livingstone OBE, the CRC’s General Comment Steering Group; Mason, a young podcaster; and Alpesh Shah, Senior Director of Global Business Strategy and Intelligence at IEEE, made the case for children and young people’s rights at the fourteenth annual meeting on the Internet Governance Forum in Berlin.

The theme was ‘One world. One net. One vision’. Speakers included Vince Cerf, one of the ‘fathers’ of the Internet, and Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General.

The Steering Group led a session outlining the relevance of the UNCRC General Comment on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment, and its progress to date. 

Professor Sonia Livingstone OBE described the rights that children’s have under the UNCRC, including the right to participate, the right to privacy, and the right to be protected from materials and information that are bad for their wellbeing. Dr Amanda Third gave an overview of children and young people’s attitudes towards, and experiences of, their rights in the digital environment, while Mason, a podcaster, made the case for children and young people’s right to have a voice, to be heard, and have their opinions taken into consideration, on all issues that affect them.

The General Comment is the first time that children and young people’s rights in the Convention have been looked at in the specific context of the digital environment. The Comment will provide authoritative guidance to governments, business and parents, on how to interpret children’s rights. 

There has been an online consultation on the General Comment, which had 135 responses. Dr Amanda Third from the Steering Group has undertaken children’s consultations in 23 countries. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, supported by 5Rights and the Steering Group, hosted a global expert meeting in London last month. Professor Sonia Livingstone is currently drafting the General Comment.

Read more about 5Rights’ work on the UNCRC General Comment here.