Research Handbook on Human Rights and Digital Technology
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Research Handbook on Human Rights and Digital Technology

Global Politics, Law and International Relations

Edited by Ben Wagner, Matthias C. Kettemann and Kilian Vieth

In a digitally connected world, the question of how to respect, protect and implement human rights has become unavoidable. This contemporary Research Handbook offers new insights into well-established debates by framing them in terms of human rights. It examines the issues posed by the management of key Internet resources, the governance of its architecture, the role of different stakeholders, the legitimacy of rule making and rule-enforcement, and the exercise of international public authority over users. Highly interdisciplinary, its contributions draw on law, political science, international relations and even computer science and science and technology studies.
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Chapter 19: Recognizing children’s rights in relation to digital technologies: challenges of voice and evidence, principle and practice

Amanda Third, Sonia Livingstone and Gerison Lansdown


In both the Global South and the Global North, digital media pose new and broad-ranging challenges for states in meeting their responsibilities to secure children’s rights to provision, protection and participation, as they are stipulated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These challenges include privacy hacks, new forms of sexual exploitation ‘at a distance’, scalable networked solutions for education and participation, the disintermediation of both parents and the state, discriminatory algorithmic calculations harnessing the power of ‘Big Data’ and much more. To guide their responses to these challenges, organizations that work with children are calling for a coherent, principled, evidence-based framework with which to recognize and address children’s rights and best interests. In this chapter, we draw on geographically and culturally diverse examples of recent research to weigh the issues at stake, showing how the relevant child rights issues relate to the practical contexts of children’s experiences with digital technologies around the world. In doing so, we pinpoint the pressing issues, controversies and knowledge gaps relevant to children’s experiences with digital technologies, as revealed by evidence gained from and by children via the platform, thereby to inform vital efforts to promote and fulfil their rights in the digital age.

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