5Rights Foundation Newsletter: December 2023

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Africa approves pioneering Child Online Safety Policy based on 5Rights Toolkit

On the 23rd of November, the African Union approved the world’s first comprehensive policy framework for the implementation of children’s rights in the digital environment, making the continent a pioneer in digitalisation that prioritises children’s safety and empowerment by design and default. The AU Child Online Safety and Empowerment Policy was developed with the support of the 5Rights Foundation using our award-winning Child Online Safety Toolkit.

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World governments at the UN commit to implementing child rights online

Governments from 193 countries on the 17th of October endorsed a ground-breaking General Assembly Resolution on the Rights of the Child in the digital environment. Following extensive engagement by 5Rights, including to bring the children’s rights community together behind a joint position, the Resolution marks a resounding political endorsement of the requirements set out in the General comment 25 to the UN Convention. States must now take effective action to implement their commitments, not least by adopting enforceable regulation for children’s online privacy and safety.

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Join us on 4th of December to discuss what the Online Safety Act means for children

Join us on Monday 4 December 2pm UCT / 3pm CET / 9am ET to explore what the UK’s Online Safety Act adds to the legislative baseline companies need to meet for children, and how the new law will be implemented and enforced. Our high-level online event will feature speakers including the UK government’s Sarah Connolly, NSPCC CEO Sir Peter Wanless and Ofcom’s Almudena Lara. Register for the event below and read all about it here. To find out more about how the OSA came to pass, you can also read here an interview with our Chair, Baroness Beeban Kidron.

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5Rights and LSE launch Digital Futures for Children joint research centre

5Rights and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) have launched a joint research centre to support the implementation of children’s rights in the digital environment. The mandate of the Digital Futures for Children Centre (DFC) is to deliver high quality applied research on children’s experiences and emerging issues, elevate children’s voices, and facilitate dialogue between researchers around the globe and other key stakeholders for change.

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5Rights Foundation welcomes new Trustees and Executive Director

As 5Rights expands its international work, our governance structure has also adapted. In October we welcomed three new Trustees with strong international profiles – Mikiko Otani, former Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; Dorothy Gordon, Chair of the UNESCO Information For All Programme; and Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, former Member of the European Parliament – and the appointment of international advocacy expert Leanda Barrington-Leach as Executive Director.

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Research, Reports, and Findings

🇪🇺 “Amazon’s lobbying satellites orbit EU policy-makers”, a new article by Corporate Europe Observatory.

🇺🇸 “Facebook Watches Teens Online As They Prep for College”, a new investigation by The Markup

🌍 “Driven to Darkness: How TikTok’s ‘for you’ feed encourages self-harm and suicidal ideation”, a new report by Amnesty International.

🌍 “Underage Workers Are Training AI”, a new article by WIRED.

🌍 “The Costly Backbone of Consumerism”, a new article by our own Head of Accountability, Duncan McCann for SustAIn.

🌍 “Child Sexual Abuse Material: Model Legislation & Global Review”, new research from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

Upcoming Events

🇬🇧 5Rights online event: What does the Online Safety Act mean for children?

4th December - 2 to 3:30 pm (UTC). Register here

🇬🇧 Gifted Young Generation’s (GYG) Event: The Reunion. GYG is Youth group based in Gravesend Kent and partner of 5Rights. They are organising a performance of all ex GYG Young People to raise money for local youth services.

8th December - 7 to 10 pm (GMT). Register here