Consultation period regarding proposed amendment to the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to incorporate the Cyber Rights of the Child.
Universal Children’s Day 20th November is an initiative of the General Assembly of the United Nations, observed as a day of activity devoted to promoting the welfare of children worldwide.
The 20th November marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989. On the 70th Anniversary of the UN (October 2015) CyberPsychologist Professor Mary Aiken delivered a speech at the HagueTalks, highlighting the serious problem of children exposed to “legal but age inappropriate content online”. Professor Aiken points out that according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, a child has a right to healthy mental development. Exposure to extreme content online such as adult pornography, extreme violence and/or websites that promote self-harm arguably constitutes abuse of a child, with negative implications for mental health and development.
To promote children’s rights on Universal Children’s Day, Professor Aiken of the Hague Justice Portal and the Peace, Justice and Security Foundation Advisory Board would like to take this opportunity to formally announce a consultation period to discuss amending relevant articles of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, with a view to incorporating the Cyber Rights of the Child.
The proposed amendment will be considered in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” under the broader 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.