A “Children’s Bill of Rights” can be used in many contexts to bring awareness to the emotional and physical needs of children. The purpose of this list of rights is to protect those tiny humans who cannot yet fully protect themselves. As the structure of our society changes, it’s important to think of a child’s “Bill of Rights” in new, updated ways. More specifically, how can we expand a child’s “Bill of Rights” to include the unique nature of online spaces?
Here at The Tech Savvy Parent, we have already highlighted the fact that the internet was not intended for children. Given that our kids start with these disadvantages online, adults can apply special considerations in outlining the rights of children as their lives have gone digital. The more aware we are of these rights, we can find ways to empower ourselves and our kids to be safe and navigate tricky situations online.
Children’s Bill of Rights for the Digital Age
All children have the right to…
- Feel safe online
- Be free from exploitation in digital environments
- Be protected from grown-up images and content
- Access age-appropriate information online
- Develop as individuals in online spaces
- Remain a kid and play in online spaces
- Guidance from safe adults in navigating tricky digital experiences
- Stumble and make mistakes online
- Be themselves in online spaces with appropriate boundaries
For a great visual reference, here is what the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child put together: Know Your Rights in the Digital Environment
Hopefully these rights will help guide you in your parenting approach as your kids engage online spaces during screen time. And remember, you are already applying these basic rights to other areas of your child’s life… the same rules can be adapted to online spaces.