The wired generation — how technology has changed childhood
The Sunday Times
5Rights takes the existing rights of children and young people (under 18), and articulates them for the digital world. Signatories to the 5Rights framework believe that young people should be supported to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly.
The rights of children apply whomever and wherever they are
We recognise that age makes children and young people vulnerable. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child describes the bare minimum of a safe and secure childhood. With more than 190 countries as signatories it is the most ratified human rights treaty in history.
In spite of this, we do not observe children’s rights in the digital world. Rights that protect them from commercial exploitation, offer the highest standards in wellbeing and education. Rights that protect them from violence and harm, and give them privacy.
There is no technological impediment to delivering children’s rights online – it is a choice. To support the presence of young people online, we must design and implement as standard, into every interaction of the digital world ALL the rights they enjoy offline.
miss food or sleep
of 11-19 year olds said they had seen something on the internet in the past year that had upset or worried them
of teachers say pupils are distracted in class because of mobile telephones and related technology
While headlines concentrate on stranger danger and unsuitable content, the structure of the digital world remains unchallenged.
We have allowed a system to develop where young people are looped into a technology designed keep them attached. Based on the same principle as a casino slot machine. They are being trained to click.
Technology is the greatest tool for change and development. Young people must be empowered and informed users. It is no longer appropriate to consider digital as separate from a child’s ‘real world’.
It is not longer appropriate to expect young people to ‘manage’ their behaviour online, the online world must be designed with children and young people in mind.
With that in mind, it must be conveyed to parents that there are a whole host of both software and hardware that can be utilised. They will, both, allow young people to take full advantage of the benefits of the internet whilst being protected from harmful content. For example, there are free spy apps for parents that allow them to monitor the internet and other computer activity of their children. Furthermore, there are active filters, spy-walls, pop up protection and other add-on restrictions that can be added to any internet browser to allow it to be more suitable for a younger audience.