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IGF 2019 Pre-Event #18 Children’s Rights in the Digital World – A Case for Internet Governance

5Rights Foundation


The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in November 1989 and is the most ratified treaty in history. It was visionary and at the same time comprehensible, binding on the signatory states and thus influential and still of great importance today. Thirty years later, childhood has been transformed by their growing up in an ever more interconnected environment, where digital technologies mediate and augment all areas of their education, family and social life. The three pillars of a child’s socialisation; family, peers and school, have been joined by a fourth; the digital environment.

At the invitation of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, 5Rights Foundation is coordinating a codicil to the Convention on the Rights of the Child; a General Comment which will set out, for the first time on a global scale, how states should apply children’s rights in the digital environment. This work involves large scale face-to-face consultations with an international and multi-disciplinary expert group and, significantly, with children from all continents and diverse circumstances, as well as two online consultations.

The event will provide a unique insight into how children's rights and internet governance are vitally interlinked; meet the urgent demand of society to understand children’s needs in the digital world; debate the much-contested responsibilities of stakeholders (especially from industry, regulation and government); and provide a unique opportunity for IGF delegates to contribute directly to the formation of the General Comment.

The panel will be interactive and led by members of the team from 5Rights Foundation, among whom are: Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE, Professor Sonia Livingstone OBE, Gerison Lansdown and Jutta Croll.

Once ratified, the General Comment to the UNCRC will set a new international standard for children's rights in the digital world. It is expected to be ratified in 2020, which will make it applicable in the 196 countries that are signatories to the Convention.

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411