Convention on the Rights of the Child and Plug-in's Pledge

16th September 2021

In 1989, the United Nations established the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an authoritative document which sets out the protection of children's rights through four main principles:

1. The child's right to survival and development

2. The best interests of the child

3. Non-discrimination

4. The child's right to be heard 

It wasn't until March of this year that the UN Committee published General Comment 25, a pivotal document which now recognises children's rights in relation to the digital environment. Over 700 children from around the globe were consulted in the creation of the Comment, reporting that digital technology is not only integral to their current lives, but also to their futures. In the Comment, one child outlines how "when you are sad, the Internet can help you [to] see something that brings you joy, while another writes that technology "introduced me to major aspects of how I identify myself." 

While enriching children's social relationships and access to education, leisure and culture, the digital space can also put their right to privacy and protection at risk. Targeting these risks, the Comment certifies that children's needs must be catered to both offline and online. 

Here at Plug-in, we are in full support of General Comment 25 and pledge to continue developing kids’ media with the child's best interests at heart.

Plug-in's Pledge:

  1. To use ethical design thinking, an approach that aims to include ethical values into our development and data processes by putting the child's right to privacy first. 

  2. To protect children from discrimination and put measures in place to ensure equal and accessible opportunities for digital literacy for children of all backgrounds and abilities. 

  3. To create digital media that facilitates children's personal development, enjoyment and freedom of expression.

  4. To take into account what children have to say to us. We're listening!

It is our shared responsibility to reshape the digital world and to listen to what young people have to say about it. 

Read a young people’s version of the Comment here.

Check out 5Rights Foundation here, an organisation that advocates for enforceable regulation and international agreements to allow children and young people to thrive online. 


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