Every year there are advancements in technological innovation. New technologies challenge our existing systems and practices and have the ability to change the way we do things. Technology has already changed the way we interact with people and our environments. Children growing up today have unprecedented access to technology. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest changes in technology in recent years has been the widespread access, which has proved to be both a benefit and a challenge.
Computers have been in the home for decades now, but the social networks and society’s increased reliability on the internet have transformed the way we access and share information. Many concerns have arisen in recent years are with regards to online cyber bullying, exposure of children and youth to pornography, violence, and online predators, poor protection of privacy, and sextortion.
With the right education and resources, we can ensure that children and youth are able to access the benefits of the Internet and create online child and youth friendly communities.
UNCRC and TECHNOLOGY
Article 13 is about receiving and sharing information
Children and young people have the right to get and to share information as long as the information is not damaging to them or others. Through new forms of social media and networking, children have the opportunity to have an outlet for their creative expressions through blogs.
Article 17 tells us about the right to reliable and accurate information
Children and young people have the right to reliable information from the mass media. Television, radio and newspapers should provide information that you can understand and should not promote materials that can cause harm. While children have an inherent right to access media, internet being a form of media, they should be protected from potentially harmful things that could be exposed to them on the internet.
Article 29 is about education for personal and social development
Children have the right to the best education that allows for them to develop their own personality and abilities as much as possible. Children should be encouraged to respect other people’s rights and values and to respect the environment. The internet and use of technology is an asset to children’s understandings of the world and a means of developing social relationships with others.
Article 35 is about protection from being kidnapped
Children have the right to be safe from being kidnapped and to be safe from being sold or trafficked. Technology is a new way of interacting with other people. It is important for children to be able to interact with other people but to avoid exposing themselves to risk in their personal safety from potential predators.
"Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant."
~ Mitchell Kapor, Software Designer and Entrepreneur