In April, Alana Institute submitted its contribution to the development of the Global Digital Compact, a document proposed by António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), outlining ‘shared principles for an open, free, and secure digital future for all’.
In order to ensure a diverse perspective on challenging digital issues, the participation of different social actors such as governments, technology companies, civil society, and academia was encouraged. This way, the definition and revision of priorities in the global digital agenda can consider the realities and challenges faced by people from various regions of the world and different fields of expertise.
The consultative process provided Alana with an opportunity to present its perspective on the importance of prioritizing the protection of the rights of children and adolescents in the digital environment. In addition to submitting a proposal in partnership with organizations such as Child Rights Connect, Child Rights International Network (CRIN), 5Rights Foundation, World Vision International, Make Mothers Matter, Plan International, Plataforma de Infancia, and Save the Children International, the organization also individually prepared another document that was sent to the Global Digital Compact.
Throughout the document, important points are emphasized, such as the need to securely connect schools to the Internet and the importance of ensuring that the rights of children serve as guidance in shaping digital environment governance. Issues related to the protection of young people’s personal data and the practices of technology companies, such as discriminatory platform design and the promotion and targeting of misleading content, are also aspects that were taken into account in the contribution.
In a context where one out of every three children is an internet user, the Global Digital Compact has emerged as an opportunity to highlight the challenges faced by children and adolescents in the Global South in the digital environment. This unequal treatment only deepens pre-existing inequalities and vulnerabilities.