In 2021, the Centre actively sought to respond to calls for submissions on government policies and reviews related to digital childhoods.
Public submissions allow the Centre to share its expertise and recommendations on areas that could affect our stakeholders. They also help position the Centre nationally and internationally as an authority on matters of digital childhoods. The Centre collaborated across nodes and disciplines to submit the following responses in 2021:
Led by Associate Professor Jessica Mantei with Professor Caroline Barratt-Pugh, Professor Sue Bennett, Dr Dylan Cliff, Professor Susan Danby, Professor Michael Dezuanni, Professor Susan Edwards, Associate Professor Steven Howard, Professor Lisa Kervin, Associate Professor Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett and Associate Professor Irina Verenikina.
Responding to the rights of the child in a digital world
The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a treaty-based body of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The CRC comprises 18 independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international agreement for child rights.
In 2020, the Committee invited all interested parties to comment on its draft general comment on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment. This general comment acknowledged that the rights of every child must be respected, protected and fulfilled in the digital environment, and outlined principles as a guide for states to deliver and guarantee these rights. While the Centre had yet to be formally established, Professor Lelia Green coordinated a response with a group of named Chief Investigators. The Centre’s response addressed the following principles in the general comment:
- access to information and freedom of expression and thought
- right to education and digital literacy
- freedom of assembly
- right to culture, leisure and play (article 31); and Protection of children’s privacy, identity and data
- protection from violence, sexual exploitation and other harm
- family environment, parenting and alternative care
- health and wellbeing
In March 2021, the CRC adopted general comment no.25 on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment, featuring Partner Investigator Professor Sonia Livingstone at the launch event panel discussion. The Centre’s response on the general comment was important in influencing young children’s interests on the policy agenda and positioning itself on the world stage as an authority on matters of digital childhoods.