European Network of Ombudspersons for Children publishes a position statement on 'Children's Rights in the Digital Environment'

Date: 29th October 2019


The statement calls upon governments, the European Commission and the Council of Europe to undertake all appropriate actions to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in a digital context.

Recognising the significant challenges of ensuring that children’s rights are protected in the online world, it notes that they need to be deeply embedded into the legal, government, business, education and social frameworks that govern and mediate the digital environment.

The statement outlines several recommendations, including:

  • fully implementing the UNCRC and Council of Europe Guidelines to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in the digital environment, through the development and implementation of rights-based strategies and measures, designed to evolve with technological developments;
  • requiring governments, business and industry to respect and fully support children’s rights in the digital environment
  • ensuring children’s right to have a say in actions and decisions that affect them in the digital environment is realised
  • ensuring all children have access to the digital environment without discrimination
  • protecting children’s enjoyment of the internet, technology and social media free from false information, harmful content or harmful technologies
  • protecting children from bullying, violence, exploitation and abuse in all forms in the digital world
  • recognising that children’s right to education extends to the digital environment and supporting children’s digital skills development
  • providing support to parents and carers in their role as guardians of children’s rights online
  • ensuring access to child friendly reporting, complaints and redress procedures

These recommendations have drawn on international and European child rights standards, the views of ENOC, the views of the European Network of Youth Advisers (ENYA) and children.