Joint Statement - Global Digital Compact Stakeholders Informal Consultation

Eurochild joins nine organisations calling for a Global Digital Compact (GDC) that prioritises the promotion, protection and implementation of children's rights in the digital environment.

The UN Global Digital Compact aims to establish an international agreement on how best to address complex digital issues. We welcome the human-rights-based approach reflected in the structure of the Compact and the notable mention of “specific measures to protect children to foster an inclusive, open, safe, secure digital space”, however, we emphasize the need for a systematic consideration of children throughout the Compact.

We urge you to include an explicit reference to the UNCRC, General comment 25 underpinning the principles of the Global Digital Compact, to emphasise that children's rights must be respected, protected and fulfilled in the digital environment. We also urge you to integrate children's rights into explicit commitments and actions across all thematic areas, in line with the UNCRC and General comment 25.

We offer the following additional recommendations to shape thematic priorities, commitments and actions:

  • Ensure that children’s rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled through a holistic and coordinated approach across policies, programmes, government departments, and industry sectors.
  • Create a safe and age-appropriate digital environment for children, taking into account their diverse needs and rights, agency, age, maturity, and prioritising their best interests, integrating privacy, safety and security by design and by default.
  • Empower children to exercise their rights in the digital environment safely and avoid restricting these rights due to a lack of necessary safeguards by States and businesses.
  • Promote safe and meaningful participation of children, ensuring that children's voices in all their diversity are heard and their views are taken into account when developing laws and policies, as well as when designing, developing, operating, and marketing digital products and services. Placing special attention to children and groups of children who are disproportionately affected by intersecting vulnerabilities, to ensure equitable online access and meaningful participation.
  • The "open, free and secure digital future for all" envisaged by the Compact requires the full implementation of the Rights of the Child in the digital environment.
  • We urge negotiators and states to embrace these recommendations, which we will share as written contributions by the deadline to translate them into concrete commitments within the Pact.
  • These inclusions are essential to ensure that the Compact is geared towards a digital future that serves children’s best interests, respects their rights, and supports their well-being.

This stament follows a previous joint position paper that had been submitted in April 2023.

Read the full statement

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