As the first ‘digital generation’, many children and young people use digital technology as part of their everyday lives — for education, finances, jobs, and leisure — but their rights too often go unprotected. Children and young people around the world are being subject to data collection, cyber bullying, online abuse and exposure to explicit content. Yet, despite the danger, tech executives and governments are not protecting the rights of children in online spaces in the same way they would in the physical world. Helping drive that apathy, is a significant gap in data and evidence on how gaps in regulation are affecting their lives, including how they can deepen inequalities.
Safety is not the only concern. Around the world, other children and young people are being left behind due to a lack of access to technology, often as a result of poverty or insufficient infrastructure. Unequal access to technology is deepening existing inequalities and limiting progress towards the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Amnesty International and Fondation Botnar believe urgent action is needed, and our joint program – RIGHTS Click— has been designed to address these challenges.
The first phase of the program will undertake research to better understand the challenges and provide evidence-based policy recommendations. Building on that evidence, the second phase will work to build awareness of digital risks among children and young people, creating a global movement to drive change and ensure youth perspectives are heard by governments and technology companies. The program is calling on governments and technology companies to support children and young people’s health and wellbeing online. It aims to hold governments to account for children and youth rights and hold technology companies to account through Amnesty’s Silicon Valley Initiative.