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Realizing children’s rights in relation to the digital environment

Livingstone, Sonia ORCID: 0000-0002-3248-9862 (2020) Realizing children’s rights in relation to the digital environment. European Review. ISSN 1062-7987 (In Press)

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Two developments in recent decades – the rising attention to children’s rights, and the growing importance of the digital environment – seem on a collision course, with children’s rights arguably more infringed than benefited by the digital world, and with efforts to promote children’s rights in a digital world seen by some as threatening the freedom of expression that digital networks enable. In this essay, I set out the case for realizing children’s rights in relation to the digital environment, and then examine the difficulties that arise. Most recently, the status of the child online is shifting from one of invisibility to one of hypervisibility in an increasingly datafied world, and the child’s right to privacy has rapidly become the most contested of all the rights. With challenges ranging from that of identifying who is a child online to reining in the economic power of the major digital platforms, states seem to be facing an impasse when it comes to taking effective action. The result is a series of stark policy choices which leave all stakeholders dissatisfied. I conclude by proposing a series of interventions focused less on the actions regarding particular child rights and more on the legal and institutional processes and standards by which all rights could be better realized in a digital world.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2020 10:42
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2020 23:16

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