In 18 months, leaders from around the world will gather to sign a “Pact for the Future” and commit to a new vision to address emerging challenges, including those posed by new technologies. As part of this process, a Global Digital Compact will set out how States and other stakeholders will ensure an ”open, free and secure digital future for all”.
Child Rights Connect, with members and partner, submitted a joint position paper to the United Nations last week to inform the Global Digital Compact. As the digital environment plays an increasingly significant role across most aspects of children’s lives, this space should be held to the standards of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). More specifically, we have focused our submission on two core actions that should be prioritized by states:
- Developing and implementing comprehensive policies and action plans for children’s rights in the digital environment.
- Legislating to ensure business responsibility to respect children’s rights and prevent and remedy abuse of their rights in relation to the digital environment.
How to do this is already set out in the 2021 General comment No. 25 to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Global Digital Compact must recognise and build on the General comment No. 25, driving its implementation.
The UN Global Digital Compact is the opportunity to drive awareness and reinforce the global commitment to implementing children’s existing rights as set out in the UNCRC and its General comments in the digital world and ensure it delivers its promise of a better world for all that is safe and rights-respecting for children.
Read the Child Rights Connect Taskforce contribution here.
In coordination with our members and partners, we are also participating at the deep dive discussions being organised as part of the intergovernmental process.
The next steps on the process will include:
- The Secretary-General will release a Policy Brief to be issued in May 2023
- The States leading discussions on this area, Sweden and Rwanda, will develop an Issues Paper based on the consultations, June-August 2023
- This will be presented at a Ministerial Meeting, September 2023, and
- Negotiations on the Global Digital Compact will take place during the end of 2023/First and Second quarter of 2024
- The Global Digital Compact will be adopted at the Summit of the Future, September 2024.