Children's rights have been in force in Germany since April 5, 1992, when the Convention on the Rights of the Child - also known as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - came into force in Germany. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most important international treaty for the protection and promotion of children's rights. Children are defined as all people under the age of 18.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child includes a large number of children's rights. These include the right to education, the right to health, the right to protection from discrimination and violence and the right to participation and co-determination in matters that affect the child.
The world has changed a lot since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was drawn up at the end of the 1980s. Digital devices and the internet are part of our everyday lives - including the everyday lives of children. This is why the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted the General Comment No. 25 was published. This document sets out for the first time how children's rights should be applied in the digital world. Children's rights in the digital world include, for example
Access to information
Information that children find online should be true and important. And it should be easily accessible, unless it could cause harm.
Freedom of expression and information
Children should be able to say what they think. Just like companies and other people, they should not spread lies or attack others.
Freedom of thought
Companies and other people must not pressure children to do things for money or at the request of others.
Freedom of association and assembly
Children want to meet and spend time with their friends. They like to be part of their community, in any environment, including the digital one. Governments or companies should not interfere, except for security reasons.
Children must have their privacy to act and develop as they wish. This includes privacy from parents, schools, governments, businesses and other children.
According to children's rights and General Comment No. 25, children are also entitled to protection. This includes these areas, among others:
Protection from violence against children
Children have the right to protection from violence. This includes political violence, bullying and depictions of sexual violence. In addition, children have a right to protection from sexual contact with adults and the temptation to self-harm, eating disorders and suicide. Children must have counseling centers and places where they can get help when they need it.
Governments should not assume that all children have a family or support. They should ensure that the digital world takes care of children's needs from the start and that families and caregivers are supported to nurture children.
Children with disabilities
Governments and companies should ensure that children with disabilities can also participate in the digital world. Captioning and language assistance and any other help they need should always be in place so that children with disabilities don't have to search for them and turn them on.
Health and well-being
Health information must be accurate and health services must be private and confidential. No digital service should be allowed to jeopardize a child's wellbeing. Governments should ensure that children are not exposed to false health information.
Education, play and recreation
Digital tools can make education more entertaining and better. However, they must respect children's privacy and support education in an appropriate way. Children want to understand how the digital world works and who benefits from it. Children want to play in the digital world and they want to see people face to face.
Businesses and governments
Online businesses need to be fair and clear. They must abide by the same rules as offline businesses, i.e. businesses outside the digital world. Children's personal information should not be used by others to make money. This includes their photos, private conversations, videos and comments.
The lists are taken from the publication "In our own words - Children's rights in the digital world" taken from the publication. The publication is a child- and youth-friendly text on General Comment No. 25. In the words of children, their rights are explained in an understandable way. Many thanks to the Digital Opportunities Foundation for releasing the text.