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Child rights in the digital age

Child rights in the digital age

One in three internet users globally is a child. This proportion is likely to be even higher in the global South. Organizations working to advance children’s rights and promote well-being need to understand how to reduce the risk of harm children face online while maximizing their opportunities for learning, participation and creativity. Crucially, children’s perspectives and experiences need to be considered when drafting policies that govern the use of young people’s digital use, as well as when designing the technology itself. However, there is still insufficient evidence globally to enable policy and practice to act in children’s best interest.

To bridge this evidence gap, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti coordinates and facilitates research on children’s use of digital technologies by developing research methodologies that can be implemented to generate national evidence. UNICEF Innocenti coordinates two multi-country evidence generation programmes, Global Kids Online and Disrupting Harm, which serve to generate evidence of the opportunities and risks that children from around the world may encounter in a digital age.

In addition, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti engages with stakeholders  to ensure that children’s perspectives are at centre of discourse and debates around internet governance and children’s internet use. We publish research on national and international internet-related policies affecting children and support UNICEF country offices, regional offices and headquarters in carrying out high-quality research and interventions. We  actively contribute to global discussions around online gaming, excessive internet use, digital technology and mental health, online violence and technology-facilitated sexual exploitation and abuse.

Publications

Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World: A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes
Publication Publication

Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World: A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes

Children’s lives are increasingly mediated by digital technologies. Yet, when it comes to understanding the long-term effects of internet use and online experiences on their well-being, mental health or resilience, the best we can do is make an educated guess. Our need for this knowledge has become even more acute as internet use rises during COVID-19. This report explores what has been learned from the latest research about children’s experiences and outcomes relating to the internet and digital technologies. It aims to inform policy-makers, educators, child-protection specialists, industry and parents on the best evidence, and it proposes a future research agenda.
Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic
Publication Publication

Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Italy was the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown. Children and their families lived in nearly complete isolation for almost two months. Students missed 65 days of school compared to an average of 27 missed days among high-income countries worldwide. This prolonged break is of concern, as even short breaks in schooling can cause significant loss of learning for children and lead to educational inequalities over time. At least 3 million Italian students may not have been reached by remote learning due to a lack of internet connectivity or devices at home. This report explores children’s and parents’ experiences of remote learning during the lockdown in Italy, drawing on data collected from 11 European countries (and coordinated by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center). It explores how children's access and use of digital technologies changed during the pandemic; highlights how existing inequalities might undermine remote learning opportunities, even among those with internet access; and provides insights on how to support children’s remote learning in the future. *** L'Italia e’ stata il primo paese in Europa ad aver applicato la misura del lockdown su tutto il territorio. I bambini e le loro famiglie hanno vissuto in quasi completo isolamento per circa due mesi. Gli studenti hanno perduto 65 giorni di scuola rispetto ad una media di 27 negli altri paesi ad alto reddito del mondo. Questa interruzione prolungata rappresenta motivo di preoccupazione, in quanto persino interruzioni piu’ brevi nella didattica possono causare significative perdite nel livello di istruzione dei ragazzi e portare col tempo a diseguaglianze educative. Almeno 3 milioni di studenti in Italia non sono stati coinvolti nella didattica a distanza a causa d una mancanza di connessione ad internet o di dispositivi adeguati a casa. Questo rapporto analizza l’esperienza della didattica a distanza di ragazzi e genitori in Italia durante il lockdown, sulla base dei dati raccolti in 11 paesi europei (e coordinati dal Centro comune di ricerca della Commissione Europea). Studia il cambiamento nell’accesso e nell’uso delle tecnologie digitali dei bambini e ragazzi durante la pandemia; mette in evidenza come le diseguaglianze esistenti possano diminuire le opportunità offerte dalla didattica a distanza, anche tra coloro che hanno accesso ad internet; e fornisce approfondimenti su come sostenere la didattica a distanza di bambini e ragazzi in futuro.
Encryption, Privacy and Children’s Right to Protection from Harm
Publication Publication

Encryption, Privacy and Children’s Right to Protection from Harm

This working paper provides a short overview of the challenges and opportunities related to child protection and the use of encryption technology. While it does not constitute the UNICEF organizational position on the topic, it is meant to inform UNICEF on the issue and to reach and engage professionals, including nonexperts, within and between the child rights and privacy rights sectors. This paper will provide an overview of the debate around encryption and its possible impact on children’s right to protection from harm. It also reflects on the pros and cons of some proposed solutions.
What is encryption and why does it matter for children?
Publication Publication

What is encryption and why does it matter for children?

Encryption encodes information so that it can only be read by certain people. ‘End-to-end’ is a robust form of encryption where only the users communicating can read the information. In other words, third parties – such as service providers – cannot decrypt the information. It matters for children because while it protects their data and right to privacy and freedom of expression, it also impedes efforts to monitor and remove child sexual abuse materials and to identify offenders attempting to exploit children online.
Digital Connectivity During COVID-19: Access to vital information for every child
Publication Publication

Digital Connectivity During COVID-19: Access to vital information for every child

Children’s digital access – or lack thereof – during the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly determined whether children can continue their education, seek information, stay in touch with friends and family, and enjoy digital entertainment. With over 1.5 billion children across 190 countries confined to their homes, active video games or dance videos may also be their best chance to exercise. The rationale for closing digital divides has never been starker or more urgent. During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to accurate health information is particularly important, especially for children living in resource-poor communities where access to health care and services may be limited. For these and other reasons, global efforts are under way to expand and support children’s digital access and engagement, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global Kids Online Comparative Report
Publication Publication

Global Kids Online Comparative Report

The internet is often celebrated for its ability to aid children’s development. But it is simultaneously criticized for reducing children’s quality of life and exposing them to unknown and unprecedented dangers. There is considerable debate about when or how children’s rights – including the rights to expression, to privacy, to information, to play and to protection from harm, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – may be realized or infringed in the digital age. With more children around the world going online every day, it is more important than ever to clarify how the internet can advance children’s opportunities in life while safeguarding them from harm or abuse. This requires evidence, from children themselves, that represents the diversity of children’s experiences at the national and global levels. By talking to children, we are better able to understand not only the barriers they face in accessing the internet, but also the opportunities they enjoy and the skills and competences they acquire by engaging in these activities. This allows us to enquire about children’s exposure to online risks and possible harms, and about the role of their parents as mediators and sources of support. In bringing children’s own voices and experiences to the centre of policy development, legislative reform and programme and service delivery, we hope the decisions made in these spheres will serve children’s best interests.
Growing up in a connected world
Publication Publication

Growing up in a connected world

The internet is becoming a natural part of children’s lives across the globe, but we still lack quality and nationally representative data on how children use the internet and with what consequences. This report underscores that it is possible to collect quality data if the right strategies and investments are in place. Over the past 4 years, the Global Kids Online network has worked with UNICEF and partners around the world to improve the global evidence base on the risks and opportunities for children on the internet. This report provides a summary of the evidence generated from Global Kids Online national surveys in 11 countries. Importantly, most of the evidence comes from children themselves, because it is only by talking to children that we can understand how the internet affects them. By bringing children’s own voices and experiences to the centre of policy development, legislative reform, advocacy, and programme and service delivery, we hope the decisions made in these spheres will serve children’s best interests.
2018 Results Report
Publication Publication

2018 Results Report

In 2018, significant gains were made in generating evidence to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged children, build organizational capacity to conduct and use quality, ethical research on children, and set a foundation as an important convening centre for expert consultation on next-generation ideas on children. 2018 marks the first year the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti is reporting on the progress of research under the new UNICEF Strategic Plan (2018-2021). This plan is the first to clearly delineate the role of research and evidence as one of the eight priority change strategies for children. This report therefore is an account of the first year of work to generate critical evidence to inform programmes, policies and advocacy for children and young people around the world
Is there a ladder of children’s online participation? Findings from three Global Kids Online countries
Publication Publication

Is there a ladder of children’s online participation? Findings from three Global Kids Online countries

There is broad agreement that internet access is important for children and provides them with many opportunities. Yet crucial questions remain about what we hope children will do online and if the opportunities provided are translating into clear benefits. What do children actually need to be able to benefit from the opportunities that the internet brings? Is there a gap between expectations and reality? The answers to these questions matter to: Governments striving to provide connectivity for families in homes, schools and communities; parents and educators who must overcome problems of cost, risk, or lack of skill, so that children may benefit from online opportunities; child rights advocates and practitioners who call for resources to empower and protect children online; and children themselves, many of whom want to take advantage of online opportunities for personal benefit.
Child Privacy in the Age of Web 2.0 and 3.0: Challenges and opportunities for policy
Publication Publication

Child Privacy in the Age of Web 2.0 and 3.0: Challenges and opportunities for policy

We live in an information society, where the flow of information in the virtual environment is unprecedented. Web 2.0 platforms – and recently Web 3.0 platforms and the Internet of Things (IoT) – represent an important step forward in enhancing the lives of both adults and children everywhere, by combining greater efficiencies with a wide availability of new tools that can boost individual creativity and collective production. This new environment has exposed adults and children to fresh challenges that deserve special attention, especially those surrounding privacy. The main objective of this paper is to address the challenges posed to child privacy online and the impact that these challenges might have on other rights such as freedom of expression, access to information and public participation. To do this, the paper first analyses the current (and foreseen) threats to child privacy online and the various approaches adopted by government and/or the private sector to tackle this issue. The paper also examines whether children’s perspectives and needs are considered in international debates on technology regulation, including in regard to the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’. It then contextualizes the protection of privacy (and data protection) in relation to other fundamental rights in the online environment, arguing that in most cases this interaction is rather positive, with the enforcement of the right to privacy serving to protect other rights. The paper concludes by proposing some policy recommendations on how to better address the protection of children’s online privacy. These objectives are achieved through literature review and analysis of legal instruments.
How Does the Time Children Spend Using Digital Technology Impact Their Mental Well-being, Social Relationships and Physical Activity? An Evidence-focused Literature Review
Publication Publication

How Does the Time Children Spend Using Digital Technology Impact Their Mental Well-being, Social Relationships and Physical Activity? An Evidence-focused Literature Review

Based on an evidence-focused literature review, the first part of this paper examines existing knowledge on how the time children spend using digital technology impacts their well-being across three dimensions; mental/psychological, social and physical. The evidence reviewed here is largely inconclusive with respect to impact on children’s physical activity, but indicates that digital technology seems to be beneficial for children’s social relationships. In terms of impact on children’s mental well-being, the most robust studies suggest that the relationship is U-shaped, where no use and excessive use can have a small negative impact on mental well-being, while moderate use can have a small positive impact. In the second part of the paper, the hypothetical idea of addiction to technology is introduced and scrutinized. This is followed by an overview of the hypothetical idea that digital technology might re-wire or hijack children’s brains; an assumption that is challenged by recent neuroscience evidence. In conclusion, considerable methodological limitations exist across the spectrum of research on the impact of digital technology on child well-being, including the majority of the studies on time use reviewed here, and those studies concerned with clinical or brain impacts. This prompts reconsideration of how research in this area is conducted. Finally, recommendations for strengthening research practices are offered.
Global Kids Online Research Synthesis, 2015-2016
Publication Publication

Global Kids Online Research Synthesis, 2015-2016

The international community has recognized the importance of internet access for development, economic growth and the realization of civil rights and is actively seeking ways to ensure universal internet access to all segments of society. Children should be an important part of this process, not only because they represent a substantial percentage of internet users but also because they play an important part in shaping the internet.
Global Kids Online, Research Synthesis 2015–2016: Summary
Publication Publication

Global Kids Online, Research Synthesis 2015–2016: Summary

Research is invaluable for contextualising online experiences in relation to children’s and families’ lives and the wider cultural or national circumstances. The Global Kids Online project aims to connect evidence with the ongoing international dialogue regarding policy and practical solutions for children’s well-being and rights in the digital age, especially in countries where the internet is only recently reaching the mass market.
One in Three: Internet Governance and Children’s Rights
Publication Publication

One in Three: Internet Governance and Children’s Rights

This paper argues that Internet governance bodies give little consideration to children’s rights, despite growing calls from international child rights organizations to address their rights in the digital age. Children have specific needs and rights and these are not met by current governance regimes for the Internet. As Internet use rises in developing countries, international Internet governance organizations face a key challenge in shaping the emerging models of best practice.
Children, ICT and Development: Capturing the potential, meeting the challenges
Publication Publication

Children, ICT and Development: Capturing the potential, meeting the challenges

This report explores the ways in which information and communication technologies (ICTs) can contribute to efforts towards meeting child-focused development goals. It serves as a key contribution on which to build informed dialogue and decision making, developed jointly between research, policy and practice.
A Global Agenda for Children's Rights in the Digital Age: Recommendations for developing UNICEF's research strategy
Publication Publication

A Global Agenda for Children's Rights in the Digital Age: Recommendations for developing UNICEF's research strategy

For some years, UNICEF has been researching children’s online risk and safety, promoting digital citizenship, and conducting both programmes for awareness-raising among children and for communication for development through the use of ICT. A revised version of this report was published in the Journal of Children and Media
Child Safety Online: Global challenges and strategies. Technical Report
Publication Publication

Child Safety Online: Global challenges and strategies. Technical Report

The Internet, mobile phones and other electronic media provide children and young people with levels of access to information, culture, communication and entertainment impossible to imagine just 20 years ago. With many of their extraordinary benefits, however, come hazards. Globally, children and young people tend to become early users and prime innovators on the Internet, and are often far ahead of their parents and other adults in terms of use, skills and understanding. It is becoming increasingly important to both empower and to protect children in this environment.
Child Safety Online: Global challenges and strategies
Publication Publication

Child Safety Online: Global challenges and strategies

The Internet, mobile phones and other electronic media provide children and young people with levels of access to information, culture, communication and entertainment impossible to imagine just 20 years ago. With many of their extraordinary benefits, however, come hazards. Globally, children and young people tend to become early users and prime innovators on the Internet, and are often far ahead of their parents and other adults in terms of use, skills and understanding. It is becoming increasingly important to both empower and to protect children in this environment.

Journal Articles

Contextualising the link between adolescents’ use of digital technology and their mental health: a multi‐country study of time spent online and life satisfaction
Journal Article Journal Article

Contextualising the link between adolescents’ use of digital technology and their mental health: a multi‐country study of time spent online and life satisfaction

Evidence on whether the amount of time children spend online affects their mental health is mixed. There may be both benefits and risks. Yet, almost all published research on this topic is from high‐income countries. This paper presents new findings across four countries of varying wealth.We analyse data gathered through the Global Kids Online project from nationally representative samples of Internet‐using children aged 9 to 17 years in Bulgaria (n  = 1,000), Chile (n  = 1,000), Ghana (n  = 2,060) and the Philippines (n  = 1,873). Data was gathered on Internet usage on week and weekend days. Measures of absolute (comparable across countries) and relative (compared to other children within countries) time use were constructed. Mental health was measured by Cantril’s ladder (life satisfaction). The analysis also considers the relative explanatory power on variations in mental health of children’s relationships with family and friends. Analysis controlled for age, gender and family socioeconomic status.In Bulgaria and Chile, higher‐frequency Internet use is weakly associated with lower life satisfaction. In Ghana and the Philippines, no such pattern was observed. There was no evidence that the relationship between frequency of Internet use and life satisfaction differed by gender. In all four countries, the quality of children’s close relationships showed a much stronger relationship with their life satisfaction than did time spent on the Internet.Time spent on the Internet does not appear to be strongly linked to children’s life satisfaction, and results from one country should not be assumed to transfer to another. Improving the quality of children’s close relationships offers a more fruitful area for intervention than restricting their time online. Future research could consider a wider range of countries and links between the nature, rather than quantity, of Internet usage and mental health.
Children as Internet users: how can evidence better inform policy debate?
Journal Article Journal Article

Children as Internet users: how can evidence better inform policy debate?

As more and more researchers from all over the world are becoming interested in how children use the Internet and mobile technologies, global evidence of both the opportunities that the Internet brings, and their associated risks, is increasing. A new research initiative, Global Kids Online, contributes to this through provision of tools and guidelines to national researchers and comparative analysis of country-specific research findings. For the first time, rigorous and comparable evidence from lower and middle-income countries (South Africa, Serbia, the Philippines, Brazil and Argentina) is available on a range of topics: children’s civic engagement, participation and digital literacy, as well as risky behaviour and negative experiences. But to what extent do current Internet-related or broader child rights policies (regarding education and protection) correspond to this growing evidence base? What are the opportunities, through evidence use, for influencing new policy direction related to children and the Internet? Drawing on recent research and an associated policy review, this paper explores the link between the two and provides some suggestions for policy and questions for further discussion.

News & Commentary

Global Researchers on Child Internet Use Gather at Innocenti
Article Article

Global Researchers on Child Internet Use Gather at Innocenti

(28 May 2019) In high- and middle-income countries, and increasingly also in low-income countries, many children’s activities are underpinned by internet and mobile phone access in one way or another. Across truly diverse domestic, cultural and geographic contexts, many children now use digital and online technologies as part of their everyday lives.Members of Global Kids Online (GKO), an international research project supporting rigourous cross-national evidence generation on children’s internet use, gathered at UNICEF Innocenti this week. The partnership will review evidence from 11 countries on children’s digital access, use, skills and risks in preparation for the latest Global Kids Online research report to be published in late 2019.“Among many other things, members of the GKO research network will review progress on our next substantive report, now in the final stages of analytical work,” said Daniel Kardefelt-Winther, lead researcher on child internet use at UNICEF Innocenti. “We will discuss the latest findings and gather feedback on how best to shape the major recommendations of the report.” Country reports from Albania, Ghana, New Zealand, the Philippines and Uruguay will be presented.The network will also discuss what is needed to expand and strengthen global data-gathering activities on children’s internet use; how to leverage evidence for research uptake and policy impact; and will hear about latest progress of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child ‘General Comment on Child Rights in the Digital Environment.’A key new development to be discussed is the upcoming implementation of GKO surveys in 14 countries in Africa and South East Asia under the new ‘Disrupting Harm’ project, funded by the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and carried out jointly by UNICEF Innocenti, ECPAT International and INTERPOL. The Disrupting Harm project aims to better understand the risks of violence and sexual exploitation that children face online.“This meeting is also an important opportunity for GKO partners to share experiences, learn from each other and help form new partnerships,” said Kardefelt-Winther. “Bringing experts and practitioners from around the world together has always been a key objective of our network”
Is There a Ladder of Children’s Online Participation?
Article Article

Is There a Ladder of Children’s Online Participation?

(26 February 2019) Is internet access providing children with new opportunities to enhance their participation? What do they need to benefit from these new opportunities and is there a gap between what we expect and what really happens?To address these crucial questions, UNICEF Innocenti and the Global Kids Online network has released a new Innocenti Research Brief, "Is there a ladder of children’s online participation?" which presents the findings of surveys on children’s internet access and use, opportunities and skills, risks and safety conducted in Bulgaria, Chile and South Africa.Findings show that although many children enjoy some of the opportunities offered by internet, most children do not engage in all opportunities offered by the civic, informational and creative activities that earmark the digital age and are available on the net.Two adolescent girls use a cellphone outside a solar kiosk in the Za’atari camp for Syrian refugeesLife context and skills likely influence how children navigate different pathways to online opportunities. Differences among countries suggest that pathways can be designed differently depending on national goals and values and that countries can mutually learn from experiences of others to integrate out-of-school- learning into school curricula.“Much is still unclear about how online opportunities translate into clear benefits,” said Daniel Kardefelt-Winther, UNICEF Innocenti’s research lead on child internet use. “The Global Kids Online network is currently researching whether certain activities are associated with children’s digital skills development, and whether other activities are associated with increased risk of harm.”Despite the differences among the three countries, cross-nationally comparative data reveal some commonalities in the behavior of children online that, according to the researchers, can represent ‘steps’ on the ladder of online participation. However, the ladder cannot suggest whether children begin at the bottom and climb to a certain point. Without availability of longitudinal data, in fact, steps on the ladder can only map out a theoretical pathway to online participation. Among the activities measured by the survey – i.e. learning, creativity, community and civic participation, relationships, entertainment and personal benefits – results reveal that 9-11-year-olds take their first steps by engaging in social activities and gaming; activities that seem to encourage early internet use across the three countries; 12-14-year-olds do rather more activities, including some learning and information activities; 15-17-year-olds are more engaged in civic and creative activities. The first step – social activities and gaming – shows that across the three countries these activities appear attractive and accessible to children, encouraging early internet use. Whether they also provide encouragement to progress and advance in online experience and expertise by building the initial skills of children so that kids can climb further up the ladder, is something that still requires further investigation. Children learn with the help of a computer tablet provided by UNICEF at a school in Baigai, northern Cameroon.Similarly, as online gaming is the most common activity in all three countries among the youngest children, it could be better exploited and used as a gateway to constructive educational and participatory activities online, as well as to support digital skills development, if games would be created to provide learning opportunities while still entertaining.Learning activities have also been found at the first step in all three countries. However, this is more evident where governments and policy makers support ICT in education systems and curricula like in Chile. Findings show that a considerable proportion of children in all three countries use the internet for schoolwork, which might help them compensate for inequalities at home and, in the longer term, it could help them become more used to utilizing the internet for educational purposes. The finding that relatively few children participate in activities higher up on the ladder, i.e. creative and civic activities, suggests that they may lack motivation, skills and support to engage in them. Activities on the higher steps seem to be reserved mainly for older children according to the brief. However, more evidence would be necessary to investigate why this is the case, and if policy and programme interventions can make a difference. “It’s easy to assume that because children have access to the internet, they are gaining all the benefits of the online world. But our findings show they are not. I hope the brief will stimulate innovative policies to improve children’s enjoyment of their participation rights.”, said Sonia Livingstone, Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science and lead author of the brief.Due to its nature, the research cannot be interpreted normatively because the list of online activities children are engaged with is not exhaustive and likely to change over time. Further studies must be developed to investigate the qualitative aspects of what children value and why in their online journeys; to evaluate the concrete benefits in short and long term of children’s online participation; to analyze the multifactorial and multidimensional factors and risks associated with online children’s participation; and to confirm whether and how online activities may improve children’s digital skills.Despite these caveats, however, it may be valuable for countries to set expectations for which activities they believe children might benefit from at various stages of their development and evaluate outcomes and inequalities against them. This could help increase the number of children benefitting from the opportunities that internet and mobile technologies can offer.
Philanthropists Convene in Florence to Champion Children at UNICEF International Council Meeting
Article Article

Philanthropists Convene in Florence to Champion Children at UNICEF International Council Meeting

(14 November 2018) Combining influence, ideas and expertise, UNICEF’s International Council Meeting convened 12 to 13 November at UNICEF Innocenti’s offices in Florence, Italy, bringing together many of UNICEF’s most influential philanthropic partners, with the aim of tackling today’s most pressing issues for children and developing better solutions for every child. The Council is comprised of UNICEF’s most significant major donors, who meet annually to interact with the UNICEF leadership, learn from each other about their work with UNICEF, and guide the Council’s objectives and structure as a global platform for engagement.UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore opened the two-day meeting with Council members and distinguished guests, including UNICEF staff and private partners, stressing the importance of looking to the future. “It’s extremely important that we look at new and different ways of doing things,” she said, citing UNICEF Innocenti’s research as a driver, pushing evidence-backed solutions forward. UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta H. Fore, opens UNICEF's 2018 International Council Meeting in Florence, Italy. Fore spoke about how cutting-edge research by UNICEF Innocenti is helping inform better programmes and policies for children globally and urged the Council to support research for children. “Here at Innocenti, UNICEF is leading a unique research initiative called the Transfer Project to explore how cash transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa are helping the poorest children to survive and thrive. This research is now helping governments … reach millions of disadvantaged households with cash assistance,” she said.Fore also mentioned UNICEF Innocenti’s forward-looking  Global Kids Online project adding, “We’re researching the challenges and opportunities of digital technology for young people. Our work is helping governments in, for example, Ghana and Argentina develop programmes and policies that will help protect children online while opening digital learning opportunities.” Fore called on the Council and philanthropists to join forces to support key research to do more for today’s children. “Can we do more work together around some big challenges?” she asked. “The philanthropic community led by partners like Gates and Rotary, have made all the difference in the near- eradication of polio – a huge, historic achievement. Can we match this progress in other areas, investing in a long-awaited HIV vaccine, developing a pathway to legal identity, universal birth registration for every child, or finally making progress in internet connectivity in every part of the world, for every school, including in refugee camps?”UNICEF Innocenti Director, a.i., Priscilla Idele, opened a presentation on why research for children matters more than ever, introducing core research work and opening a discussion on how UNICEF Innocenti research helps assess progress on UNICEF’s commitments to children and finds solutions to close gaps. “These kind of assessments enable us to learn from our successes and failures and to understand what needs to be done differently, but also to hold governments and partners accountable when progress for children falls short of commitments,” she said, adding, “with predictive analysis, we can examine how the past and current trends on societal changes can affect children, for example, knowledge about fertility rates and migration patterns can help us to determine how many schools are needed in the future and where they should be located.” Research is a powerful tool to inform policy and programmes. “Research,” she emphasized, “serves to introduce new ideas, help people identify problems and appropriate solutions in new ways, and provide new frameworks to guide thinking and action.”UNICEF Innocenti's Priscilla Idele, Yekaterina Chzhen, Jacob de Hoop, and Daniel Kardefelt-Winther present on why research matters now more than ever. Cutting-edge research on child poverty and inequality, cash transfers in humanitarian settings, online risks and rights, and adolescent well-being were presented by UNICEF Innocenti researchers Yekaterina Chzhen, Jacob de Hoop, Daniel Kardefelt-Winther, and Prerna Banati. UNICEF’s Youth Forum, which included 46 young people from Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal, UK, Ireland, Malaysia, Finland and Switzerland, gathered for the first time in Florence in parallel with the International Council Meeting. The Youth Forum explored the challenges and opportunities young people face around the world, and provided an opportunity to challenge assumptions, think differently and create shared visions for a better future.At the concluding ceremony, the youth presented Executive Director Fore with a series of recommendations about the most urgent issues that UNICEF and the world needs to address, including education for all children, gender discrimination, and child poverty. Their collective goals were represented in a mandala of rights they prepared over two days of work. They included supporting youth and adolescents through global networks, providing quality education for both girls and boys, using technology in classrooms, promoting meaningful participation of youth in all sectors, increasing education on peace building and conflict management, forging partnerships with governments and the private sector, and investing in life skills and livelihood opportunities for young people.In response, Fore said that UNICEF and the International Council has a long list of homework to follow up on. “We will be working hard on this,” she replied.

Events

Children Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Event Event

Children Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic

6 May 2020 - UNICEF Innocenti hosted its first Leading Minds Online event as part of a new series on Coronavirus and Children: What the Experts Say.
Inaugural UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival
Event Event

Inaugural UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival

27-29 October 2019 - Thirty two films from 28 countries were screened over three days, receiving enthusiastic reception from audiences. Apart from the diversity and quality of the film programme, a highlight of the festival was the panel discussions which featured dialogue between film directors and UNICEF child rights research experts.

Project team

Daniel Kardefelt Winther

UNICEF Innocenti

Marium Saeed

UNICEF Innocenti

Rogers Twesigye

UNICEF Innocenti

Partners

Videos

Conferences & Meetings

Conference on digital rights

Global Researchers on Child Internet Use Gather at Innocenti

Child Dignity in a digital world Congress at Vatican City

Council of Europe meeting on online child sexual abuse

Researching Children’s Rights Globally in the Digital Age

Tags

internet

Innocenti @ external events

South African Global Kids Online pilot study

Global Kids Online panel at WSIS Forum 2016

Blogs

Responding to screen time concerns: A children's rights approach

Zhang Haibo is taking children’s opinions about digital technology seriously

Challenges of parental responsibility in the digital age: a global perspective

Ethical considerations for research with children

The internet of opportunities: what children say

Evidence based policy making on child internet use in Latin America

Piloting a research toolkit on child internet use in rural South Africa

Why we need more research on children's use of the internet

Journal articles

Children as Internet users: how can evidence better inform policy debate?

Reports

Child Rights and Online Gaming: Opportunities & Challenges for Children and the Industry

What's new

Is there a ladder of children's online participation?

Global researchers on child internet use gather at Innocenti

‘Solutions Summit’ Highlights Need for Research to End Violence by 2030

Global Kids Online evidence spurs policy change in Argentina

Researchers and designers convene to create ‘designing for children’ guide

Philippines conducting national survey of child internet use

South Africa study on child internet use helps build global research partnership

External website

Global Kids Online