Discussion paper series

Two teenage girls work on a computer in an Internet café, Madagascar.
© UNICEF/UN015582/Prinsloo

Children’s Rights and Business in a Digital World

As more children around the world spend more time on the Internet, in more ways, it becomes more essential to appreciate what children’s rights mean in a digital world. While there is now a widely accepted public imperative to protect children from harm, abuse and violence online, there has been comparatively little consideration of how to empower children as active digital rights-holders. At the same time, the rapidly expanding power and reach of the ICT sector have thrust communications and technology companies into key policy debates around the risks and opportunities children encounter online. This series of discussion papers seeks to explore the relationship between children’s rights, business and the Internet in greater detail. While the issues presented are by no means exhaustive, it is hoped that these discussion papers will contribute to broadening the conversation on children’s rights and business in a digital world.

Privacy, Protection of Personal Information and Reputation Rights [PDF]

This paper analyses the complex relationship between children’s privacy and the internet. While the internet has the ability to emancipate children’s autonomy and enhance independence, children’s privacy can be undermined by a number of risks related to the collection and onward sale of their data and browsing habits, behavior targeting and advertising, the use of biometrics, age verification and the mandatory use of identification, government surveillance and a variety of parental controls. This paper explores these risks to children’s privacy online and puts forward the responsibilities of and opportunities for the ICT sector to respond to these risks.

Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Participation (coming soon)

Access to the Internet, Education and Digital Literacy (coming soon)

Digital Marketing and Advertising (coming soon)