IGF 2023: Children’s and young people’s rightsMarlene Fasolt, SDC
The 18th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meeting will be hosted by the Government of Japan in Kyoto in a hybrid format from 8 to 12 October 2023. The theme of this year’s IGF is "The Internet We Want - Empowering All People". Representatives from business, science and civil society will meet with high-ranking government representatives from all over the world and address the following topics in various event formats:
- AI & Emerging Technologies
- Avoiding Internet Fragmentation
- Cybersecurity, Cybercrime & Online Safety
- Data Governance & Trust
- Digital Divides & Inclusion
- Global Digital Governance & Cooperation
- Human Rights & Freedoms
- Sustainability & Environment
Many sessions at this year’s IGF will cover the topic of children’s and young people’s rights to protection, empowerment and participation in the digital environment.
We have put together a list of the sessions that will cover aspects of children and young people growing up in a digital environment. This way you can decide which parts of the program are of interest to you. All sessions are designed to actively involve participants, whether they are on-site or online.
Registration is required to attend the IGF. It is recommended that you register in good time before the start of the event. You will receive a confirmation that entitles you to access the on-site events and the digital Zoom meetings.
IGF-Sessions on "Growing up in a digital environment":
11:15-12:15 JST (4:15 - 5:15 CET, 2:15-3:15 UTC), Workshop Room 6, IGF 2023 Day 0 Event #16 Youth participation: co-creating the Insafe network
13:30-15:00 JST (=6:30-8:00 CET, 4:30-6:00 UTC), Workshop Room 1, IGF 2023 Global Youth Summit
16:30-18:00 JST (=9:30-11:00 CET, 7:30-9:00 UTC), Workshop Room 5, IGF 2023 WS #495 Next-Gen Education: Harnessing Generative AI
17:45-18:45 JST (=10:45-11:45 CET, 8:45-9:45 UTC), Workshop Room 3, IGF 2023 WS #255 Digital Me: Being youth, women, and/or gender-diverse online
9:45-10:45 JST (=2:45-3:45 CET, 00:45-01:45 UTC), Workshop Room 1, IGF 2023 WS #72 Defence against the DarkWeb Arts: Youth Perspective
13:30-15:00 JST (=6:30-8:00 CET, 4:30-6:00 UTC), Workshop Room 4, IGF 2023 WS #469 AI & Child Rights: Implementing UNICEF Policy Guidance
16:45-17:45 JST (=9:45-10:45 CET, 7:45-8:45 UTC), Workshop Room 8, IGF 2023 Open Forum #15 Protecting children online with emerging technologies
17:00-18:30 JST (=10:00-11:30 CET, 8:00-9:30 UTC), Workshop Room 4, IGF 2023 WS #403 Safe Digital Futures for Children: Aligning Global Agendas
18:00-19:00 JST (=11:00-12:00 CET, 9:00-10:00 UTC)Workshop Room 8, IGF 2023 Open Forum #58 Child online safety: Industry engagement and regulation
8:30-9:30 JST (=1:30-2:30 CET, 11:30-00:30 UTC) Workshop Room 8, IGF 2023 Open Forum #52 RITEC: Prioritizing Child Well-Being in Digital Design
11:00-12:30 JST (=4:00-5:30 CET, 2:00-3:30 UTC), Workshop Room 4, IGF 2023 WS #62 Data Protection for Next Generation: Putting Children First
11:30-12:30 JST (=4:30-5:30 CET, 2:30-3:30 UTC), Workshop Room 9, IGF 2023 Networking Session #64 Worldwide Web of Youth: Cooperation for Enlightenment
13:00-14:30 JST (=6:00-7:30 CET, 4:00-5:30 UTC), Workshop Room 11, IGF 2023 DCCOS Risk, opportunity and child safety in the age of AI
13:00-14:30 JST (=6:00-7:30 CET, 4:00-5:30 UTC), Workshop Room 2, IGF 2023 WS #559 Harnessing AI for Child Protection
14:15-15:15 JST (=7:15-8:15 CET, 5:15-6:15 UTC), Workshop Room 8, IGF 2023 Open Forum #86 Child participation online: policymaking with children
15:45-17:15 JST (=8:45-10:15 CET, 6:45-8:15 UTC), Workshop Room 3, IGF 2023 WS #501 Children’s digital rights: overcoming regional inequalities
16:30-18:00 JST (=9:30-11:00 CET, 7:30-9:00 UTC), Workshop Room 11, IGF 2023 YCIG Advancing Youth Participation in IG: results from case study
17:45-18:45 JST (=10:45-11:45 CET, 8:45-9:45 UTC), Workshop Room 5, IGF 2023 WS #417 Youth-Driven Tech: Empowering Next-Gen Innovators
14:00-15:30 JST (=7:00-8:30 CET, 5:00-6:30 UTC), Plenary Hall, Dynamic Coalitions Main Session
15:15-16:00 JST (=8:15-9:00 CET, 6:15-7:00 UTC), Workshop Room 10, IGF 2023 Launch / Award Event #39 Launches of the report of Children’s Cybersecurity Needs
The Main Session Human Rights also considers children's rights, the exact date will be updated in this article as soon as it is announced.
Survey on the protection of childrenTorsten Krause, SDC
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are jointly conducting an online-based survey on the protection of children from violence. With this survey, they and numerous other cooperation partners want to find out how and which possibilities children and young people perceive to get help via the internet when they experience violence in the family, are bullied at school or are exposed to sexual violence.
The survey is directed at young people and will take five to 10 minutes to complete. It is hoped that the responses will provide insights into how young people use digital services to get help online, for example through a hotline, reporting mechanisms or through communication with peers. The aim is to further improve the existing possibilities and possibly also to set up new help procedures so that in the future as many young people as possible can be protected from violence - whether online or offline.
The European Commission is also currently conducting a consultation process on the development and strengthening of an integrated child protection system. Participation is open until 20 October. Read more in our focus article EU Consultation on Child Protection.
Focus on digital sustainabilityTorsten Krause, SDC
In mid-September, the Internet Governance Forum Germany (IGF-D) will take place for the 14th time. At the exchange of diverse actors from the fields of science, civil society, technology, politics and youth on 13 September 2023 in Berlin, the international consultation of the IGF in October in Kyoto (Japan) will be prepared from a German perspective. The focus will be on potential quality standards for artificial intelligence, the Global Digital Compact, aspects of cyber security and the question of how sustainability and the digital economy can be thought together.
The Youth IGF-D will also deal with the focus of digital sustainability in a separate event on 12 September. The intention is to discuss together how social justice and digital innovations can be brought into alignment with each other. In different formats questions about the reduction of resource-intensive materials and the creation of sustainable data spaces will be addressed.
All those interested in the topics of sustainability and the digital world are invited to the Youth IGF-D workshop. The event will take place on 12 September from 6:30 pm at Wikimedia Deutschland in Berlin. Further information in German and the possibility to register can be found here.
With the issue of digital sustainability, the Youth IGF in Germany links themes that are highly relevant for young people and beyond. Just a few days ago, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child released the new General Comment No. 26 „Children’s Rights and the Environment with a Special Focus on Climate Change“. This is dedicated to considering the rights of the child in the light of sustainability, environmental protection and climate change. Read more in our focus article Children's right to a healthy environment.
Children's right to a healthy environmentTorsten Krause, SDC
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has issued a new General Comment. This is dedicated to considering children's rights in the context of matters of sustainability, environmental protection and climate change. The new General Comment No. 26, entitled "Children's Rights and the Environment with a Special Focus on Climate Change", will be presented at the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child session on 18 September. The event can be viewed in a live stream here or replayed at a later date.
Commenting on the release, the Committee explained that the three planetary crises of climate emergency, the collapse of biodiversity and pervasive pollution are fundamental and urgent threats to the rights of the child. With the General Comment, the Committee therefore holds States Parties accountable to tackle environmental harm and climate change. It stresses that children have a right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment and points out how children's rights and environmental protection should be thought of together.
For the drafting of the new General Comment, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child cooperated with terre des hommes and was advised by a group of children. In addition, more than 16,000 children provided information and suggestions, which were taken into account, as were the comments of States Parties, experts and organisations.
The advisory children will be participating in the event to present the new General Comment. Together with the committee members, they want to call for actions and events for the children's right to a healthy environment on 18 September.
EU consultation on child protectionTorsten Krause, SDC
Until October 20, the European Commission is conducting an online consultation procedure on the development and strengthening of an integrated child protection system. In addition to member states, international organizations and those from civil society as well as individuals can participate in this procedure. Children are also being asked about their ideas and views regarding their protection.
Through the consultation, the European Commission wants to gain an impression of needs and necessities for the protection of children as well as their realization at the national level, in order to examine from this which measures the European Union can stimulate in order to contribute to a further development and improvement of existing approaches and systems.
According to Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, children are entitled to „such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being." In order to meet this objective and with reference to the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, the European Commission intends to make a recommendation to the Council of the European Union in evaluation of the contributions submitted, in order to initiate corresponding activities in the member states.
Further information and the possibility to submit contributions to the consultation can be found here.