Over the past five years, Youth and Media at the Berkman Center and UNICEF’s Voices of Youth Citizens team have been working together on a series of research and advocacy efforts aimed at better understanding digital and social media growth and trends among children and youth globally.
Building upon this multi-year partnership, we launched earlier this year an open collaborative network called “Digitally Connected”, which at its core has a network of 200 academics, practitioners, young people, activists, philanthropists, government officials, and representatives of technology companies from all over the world, with particular emphasis on the Global South. Together, we explore and address the manifold challenges and opportunities children and youth encounter in the digital environment.
As part of the Digitally Connected events series and bringing together 90 experts from Latin America and the Caribbean, the Berkman Center, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina, and UNICEF co-hosted on December 9-10, 2014 a regional symposium in Buenos Aires called “Conectados al Sur” on children, youth, and digital media. At the event, we debated a broad range of issues that children and adolescents face in the digital environment, such as unequal access to technology and connectivity; the relationship between the right to privacy and freedom of expression; the link of the media with social networking; innovation to bring technology access to vulnerable populations; and spaces for participation and innovation.
The objective of the symposium was to 1) exchange ideas and analyze the state of research, policy implementation and progress within the framework of the rights of children and young people and their use of new technology 2) to bridge research, policy, and advocacy communities, and 3) strengthen the network and foster collaboration among participants across regions and countries.