IGF 2019 WS #23 How and why to involve perspectives of children effectively

Organizer 1: William Bird, Media Monitoring Africa
Organizer 2: Daniela Tews, Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk e.V.

Speaker 1: Leyla Nasib, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Phakamile Phakamile, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Daniela Beyerle, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Additional Speakers: 

Nomshado Lubisi, Civil Society, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

Why are children's views and experiences relevant to different stakeholders of the digital environment? What responsibility do society, politics and business have for a good and safe growing up in the digital environment and the Internet? What are good practise examples to involve perspectives of children effectively and responsibly? Which tools and methods could enable companies and politics to better involve the perspectives of children and adolescents?

Relevance to Theme: Protecting children and young people from the risks and harm that the Internet and digital media can cause is indisputably important. However, to allow them to participate/engage in an age-appropriate and child-friendly way in developments and decisions that open up safe, creative and protected possibilities of using the Internet, is an approach that is still under-represented. Governments, public authorities and businesses make decisions about conditions, rules and opportunities for using the Internet and digital media and content that must also take into account the best interests of children and young people. Today, children are not only subjects to be protected from risks and harmful contents or experiences. They are not only consumers of media and devices. They are producers, readers, gamers and influencers, they have expertise, impact and power which can help understanding their views and changing policies in a human rights based and child-friendly way. Perspectives of children and youth are of course as different as the regions and cultures as well as the living conditions and chances of human beings. But children have the right to be heard in every issue they are affected of. That’s what the UN-Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) stands for and what has to be realised from the duty-bearers of the Convention – the States parties, the companies and all adult persons. The respect for and implementation of Children's Rights has an essential dimension particular in digital contexts. At the same time, digitization offers a high potential for realizing to a greater extent the previously unrealized or under-implemented rights of children. The right to access to mass media (Art. 17 CRC) , the right to privacy (Art. 16 CRC), the right to freedom of expression (Art. 13 CRC), the right to be protected from violence (Art. 19 CRC)– these are only a few dimensions, which open the view for discussions on this issue.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Mediatisation and digitization has led to a serious change in childhood and adolescent environments in recent years. The fact that digital media such as smartphones and tablets as well as the use of the Internet would soon find its way into many children’s hands or class rooms, was not foreseeable at the time of the resolution of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Nonetheless, Article 17 UN CRC makes it clear that States parties must allow children access to mass media and thus to "information and material from a variety of sources". Children's rights must accordingly come to their full development in the digital world. This means to take the views and experiences of children into account when discussing, developing and regulating the Internet in a worldwide context. But participation is not only a question of how to include perspectives in an equal and justice way but also how to guarantee fair and equal access to mass media at all.


Other - 90 Min
Format description: This workshop will be a combination of presentations and a tutorial. The session will start with a short presentation of two international Best/Good Practices. During the second part of the session the participants will experience some of the methods and tools first hand. The tutorial will end with a moderated discussion about the participants’ experiences and learnings.

Description: The workshop presents good practise examples for different ways of collaboration of companies or politicians with children. On the one hand, participants of the workshop can learn why perspectives of children and youth are relevant to consider in their own working context. On the other hand, participants can learn about and experience first-hand methods and tools that enable the participants to design and think from a „user’s perspective“. The session will start with a short presentation of two international Best/Good Practices („Designing for children’s rights guide“ and „Web Rangers“) that successfully managed to involve the children’s and adolescences’ perspective within their projects. The presentation is followed by a brief introduction into human centered design (minds & makers), explaining the „why" as well as the „how“. During the second part of the session the participants will experience some of the methods and tools first hand. In small groups they are invited to work with templates for e.g. personas or customer journeys and will present their results to the whole group. The tutorial will end with a moderated discussion about the participants’ experiences and learnings throughout the session. Agenda Outline 1. Presentation good/ best practice (15 min) 2. Presentation good/ best practice (15 min) 3. Presentation human centered design (15 min) 4. Interactive tool sessions in small groups and result presentations (30 min) 5. Reflections and discussion about the learnings (15 min)

Expected Outcomes: • Understanding of the importance and chances of involving children and adolescence effectively and responsibly • Learning from and being motivated by international best/ good practices • Brief understanding of human centered design • Practical experience with using various tools and methods for involving children’s and adolescent's perspective

Onsite Moderator: 

Daniela Tews, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

William Bird, Civil Society, African Group


Daniela Tews, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Discussion Facilitation: 

For the entire tutorial there will be a host. The host will introduce the topic and agenda as well as guide through the whole session. For the interactive part of the session we will provide templates and materials the participants are invited to work with. The participants will work in small teams, which stimulates a more intense exchange. The three speakers as well as the organizers will be part of the small teams and give their input if needed. For the closing discussion about the participants’ learnings we will provide a structure and one of the speakers will moderate this part.

Online Participation: 

We will inform people from our diverse network about the date and topic, format and policy questions of our workshop, that they are able to participate online to bring in their perspective and questions.

Proposed Additional Tools: Twitter/ Instagram: One of the organizers will moderate these channels during the session.


GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals