Dynamic Coalition on Children's Rights in the the Digital Environment
Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min
Faced with growing concern about the safety, security and privacy of children in digital environments, experts have long highlighted a broad range of data, legal, regulatory, policy and technology gaps needed to build robust prevention and response mechanisms.
Finding a balance between these areas of intervention continues to be a complex and is the topic of much ongoing debate at national, regional and global level. At the same time, there have been significant developments across all of these areas in recent years, including:
Research – Disrupting Harm (https://ecpat.org/disrupting-harm/) research project conducted in 13 countries in Southeast Asia and Southern and Eastern Africa by ECPAT International, UNICEF Innocenti and INTERPOL. This project has helped address the imbalance of evidence regarding Online CSEA between the Global North and the Global South.
International Law – General Comment 25 to the UN CRC on the Rights of the Child in relation to the Digital Environment has delivered recognition that the rights of children offline also apply in digital environments
Regulation – Proposals and laws such as the UK Online Harms Bill, the EU Digital Services Act and a proposal for a regulation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse, and the Australian Online Safety Act, are changing the obligations and liability of online service providers with regards children’s rights as digital citizens.
Policy – Safety by design principles and age appropriate design codes are helping to shift the balance from response mechanisms towards prevention.
Technology – advancement of AI/ML, prevention chatbots and other safe and safety-focused technology are helping to keep children safe.
This session will explore:
1. How evidence from the Disrupting Harm project, combined with international laws such as the General Comment #25 can lead to real, positive impact on children's digital lives.
2. Whether and how new regulation from a certain countries and regions can or should inform action in other parts of the world.
3. What digital service providers can do to act upon evidence, respond to regulation, and ensure safety across all technologies they deploy globally.
1) To facilitate interaction, we will ensure online meetings to prepare for the session and agree upon the order of speakers and the moderation to ensure equal participation in the session.
2) The session will include in-person and online speakers, and the online moderator will work closely with the onsite moderator to manage questions and comments.
3) In 2021, the DC used online polls during the session. We aim to repeat that experience and/or use a jamboard to keep participants engaged and facilitate information gathering for follow-on action after the session.
1. Amy Crocker, ECPAT International, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific and Global
2. Jutta Croll, Stiftung Digitale Chancen, Civil Society, Europe
1. APAC/CSO: Ms. Rangsima Deesawade – Regional Coordinator Southeast Asia, ECPAT International
2. Africa/CSO: Emmanuel Development Association, Ethiopia / UNICEF Ethiopia (to be confirmed)
3. Latin America/CSO: Fundacion Renacer, Colombia (Online)
4. EU/Government: European Commission DG Home (Online)
5. UK/CSO Academia: Prof. Sonia Livingstone – London School of Economics
6. EMEA/Industry: Mr. Dave Miles – Head of Safety Europe, Middle East and Africa, Meta
John Carr / ECPAT International
Amy Crocker / ECPAT International
Targets: Focus SDG is 16.2 - End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children. To effectively tackle SDG 16.2, we need to understand and mitigate the impact of digital technology on abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children. However, despite significant developments such as the UN General Comment to the CRC on Children’s Rights in Relation to the Digital Environment, regional and sectoral variances exist. Emerging regulation is seen by some as essential to protect children online, by some as harmful to fundamental rights, and by others as only one of the many components needed for an effective response to online violence against children. With such opposing views, we risk losing sight of the goal of SDG 16.2. This proposal aims to facilitate an open discussion on these complex challenges.