Worldwide, children’s digital activities and opportunities are growing
at an exponential rate. Yet many of the creative, informative,
interactive and participatory features of the digital environment remain substantially underused, especially in lower-income countries and among the most marginalized children. Moreover, amid endless potential, the
internet can also compound offline risks and negative experiences such
as unwanted sexual solicitation, bullying and harassment, and exposure
to pornography and other potentially harmful materials.
Sonia Livingstone, professor in the Department of Media and
Communications at LSE, will examine the opportunities and risks afforded by digital and online technologies for children globally, setting out
the research and policy priorities. Respondents include: Executive
Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard
University, Urs Gasser; UNICEF’s Director of Communication, Paloma
Escudero, Director; CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI),
Stephen Balkam; and Director of youth and technology research at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Amanda Lenhart.
Drawing on the framework of the UN Convention of the Rights of the
Child, the forum will critically examine how to maximize the
opportunities and minimize the harms associated with ICT for children
around the world, in order to identify the research and policy
priorities and to fill the gaps.
Identifying the state of play regarding children’s rights in the digital age is important to the work that UNICEF’s Office of Research has been
conducting since 2011.