5Rights has brought together children’s rights NGOs and parents associations from across Europe to deliver a strong message to the Council and European Parliament: make sure all children’s rights are covered and that they apply to all children, wherever they are!
The letters come as the European Parliament and Council of Ministers prepare to finalise their positions on the EU’s flagship bill to regulate tech Platforms: the Digital Services Act.
Despite strong consensus among all the EU member states and political parties that children need to be better protected and empowered in the digital world, the DSA risks failing to deliver any practical improvement to children’s experience online, more by oversight than intention.
The primary concern of children’s rights and parents’ organisations is the persistent substitution of the word “minor” for “child”. A child is defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as any person under the age of 18. A minor is however defined by national law, and is likely to be set as coinciding with the “age of consent” for data processing, i.e. between 13-16. The use of this one word could thus undermine the rights of millions of teenagers, who are actually the most vulnerable age group, with less parental supervision, a broader use of tech, more peer pressure.