Global Politics, Law and International Relations
Edited by Ben Wagner, Matthias C. Kettemann and Kilian Vieth
Chapter 19: Recognizing children’s rights in relation to digital technologies: challenges of voice and evidence, principle and practice
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 RErights.org platform, thereby to inform vital efforts to promote and fulfil their rights in the digital age.
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