Sonia Livingstone, Amanda Third and Mariya Stoilova recently convened conference on Children's and Young People's Rights in the Digital Age asks some telling questions on children’s ‘rights’ in a digital age. Most of the presentation files are available here under ‘Programme’
Concerns that children’s rights are being newly infringed rather than enhanced in the digital age are often raised by researchers, child rights’ advocates, and internet governance experts. Children’s needs and experiences in the digital age are often neglected in high-level debates about global internet provision and governance and children’s rights are treated as a minority interest and seen as demanding exceptional treatment from adult society. Further, current debates frequently emphasise the risks children potentially face online and underline their right to protection but much less debate focuses on children’s provision and participation rights and the opportunities children may encounter online.
The conference sought to unpack the ways digital media intersect – both positively and negatively – with children’s rights today and to reflect on how children’s rights might provide a meaningful counterpoint from which to consider the role of ‘the digital’ in advancing human rights more broadly.