Amanda Third Presenting at ASEAN/UNICEF Child Online Protection Conference

Associate Professor Amanda Third is an invited presenter at the ASEAN/UNICEF Child Online Protection Conference: Towards an Integrated Systems Approach in Putrajaya, Malaysia, from 24–25 March. Amanda is presenting on children's rights in the digital age.

The conference will discuss how the internet and related online activities can best be used as a vital information source for children while at the same time ensuring that children are protected from related risks and vulnerability. Parties that are crucial in the creation of a safer digital environment for children will have the opportunity to share and exchange their practices and experiences, meanwhile fostering closer cooperation among ASEAN member nations.

Children on phone

Photo by Andrea Del Bono

In her presentation, Associate Professor Third will discuss the findings of the project she led: 'Children's Rights in the Digital Age: A Download from Children Around the World'.  

This project documented and analysed the ways that children themselves, in different locations around the world, conceptualise and enact their rights in relation to their digital media practices. In particular, it asked children to reflect upon the extent to which they use digital media in their everyday lives and the motivations for their use; what their rights are in a digital age; how their rights might be enhanced by their engagements with digital media; and what kinds of challenges digital media pose to their capacity to claim their rights. 

In July and August 2014, with the support of organisations affiliated with the Digitally Connected Network (opens in a new window), 148 children aged 7-18, from 16 different countries, participated in workshops in which they reflected on their rights. 

The work resulted in three project outputs: a short film documenting the children's insights and experiences; a report analysing the content generated by the children in relation to the existing scholarship on children's rights in the digital age; and a set of 'digital champion' stories showcasing how children, or organisations working with children, are using technology to enhance the rights of children in different locations around the world.

The project was undertaken by a team of Young and Well CRC researchers based at ICS, on behalf of the Digitally Connected Network, and in partnership with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (opens in a new window) at Harvard University and Voices of Youth (opens in a new window), UNICEF's global digital engagement portal. Working on the project with Associate Professor Third were Research Assistants Emma Keltie, Kari Pihl, Delphine Bellerose and Professional Writer Urszula Dawkins. 

Associate Professor Third also presented the findings of the project to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child at their Day of General Discussion in Geneva as they met to consider how to update the Convention on the Rights of the Child for the digital age last September. The project was undertaken with the explicit aim of providing a way for children's views to inform the Committee's deliberations when they met to update the Convention.

25 March 2015