Childnet support calls for the extension of the Convention of the Rights of the Child

Posted on 03 March 2010

The 20th November 2009 marked the 20th Anniversary of the publication of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, along with the optional protocols that have followed it, have helped to shape the political, economic, social and civil rights that protect children worldwide.

The Convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two optional protocols, laying out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

However, much has changed since 1989, and Derek Wyatt MP, has led the call that this milestone gives an excellent opportunity to look at the Convention to address the different world in which children and young people today are growing up.

At Childnet, we have long championed the opportunities that the Internet and other digital networks afford young people, and are pleased to have signed the petition calling for the UN to work with legislators around the world to examine and assess whether the Convention on the Rights of the Child fully addresses the needs of children in the digital age. We have supported this campaign, alongside the Family Online Safety Institute and the Marie Collins Foundation.

Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet, said:

“When one looks at Children’s Rights, one can see the role that technology can play or the issues that technology raises in relation to these rights. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult to look at many of these rights without consideration of technology – for example, the rights to participation, freedom of expression, education, access to mass media, as well as to protection and privacy. Given the integral part that technology plays in many children’s lives, and the part that it could play in others, we think it would be worthwhile to review whether the Convention addresses the potential and the needs of children in this digital age”.

For more information on the campaign see:

To sign the petition, go to:

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