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Rethinking responses to children and young people’s online lives

Rethinking responses to children and young people’s online lives
Rethinking responses to children and young people’s online lives
This brief discussion paper shares preliminary work to develop a practical framework for thinking about rights-respecting advocacy, policy and practice responses to support and empower children and young people in their daily encounters with the Internet and other networked digital technologies. Contemporary public service policy and practice responses to the role of the Internet in young people’s lives focus disproportionately on strategies involving web blocking and filtering, restriction of access to online spaces, and safety messaging highlighting what young people should not do online. We argue that such strategies can be both counterproductive, and lead to a neglect of the role of public services in promoting young people’s digital literacy and skills. Whilst the EU Kids Online program has highlighted that “safety initiatives to reduce risk tend also reduce opportunities” (De Haan & Livingstone, 2009), alternative strategies are needed that help professionals working with young people to move beyond a conceptual model in which the ‘risks’ and ‘opportunities’ of digital technologies are set up in opposition. In exploring how to respond to the online lives of children and young people, safety must sit alongside, and be integrated with, a broader range of considerations, including promoting positive uptake of online opportunities, promoting skills relevant to a digital economy, and encouraging the development of accessible, democratic online spaces in which rights to both play and participation, amongst others, can be realized. We suggest that the common classification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Provision, Protection and Participation rights (Cantwell, 1993) can provide the basis for such strategies, in which the protection of children and young people, the provision of appropriate services, spaces and support, and the participation of children and young people in shaping opportunities and managing their own safety, are all seen as integral parts of any work relating to children and young people’s online lives. We put forward a range of practical principles that can guide the design of responses to young people’s online lives, including: supporting digital citizenship; empowering young people; having robust responses to risk; promoting resiliency; providing positive spaces; and allowing young people to shape services.
youth, young people, online safety, children's rights, uncrc
Davies, Timothy G
149cbf48-6091-4699-b468-2e0876465dbe
Bhullar, Sangeet
61cf74cd-c59b-402d-b8d3-1443bf6f127a
Dowty, Terri
dc94fd45-7ee8-40d5-9cdc-419445b2721f
Davies, Timothy G
149cbf48-6091-4699-b468-2e0876465dbe
Bhullar, Sangeet
61cf74cd-c59b-402d-b8d3-1443bf6f127a
Dowty, Terri
dc94fd45-7ee8-40d5-9cdc-419445b2721f

Davies, Timothy G, Bhullar, Sangeet and Dowty, Terri (2011) Rethinking responses to children and young people’s online lives. EU Kids Online 2 - Final Conference, London, United Kingdom. (In Press)

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

This brief discussion paper shares preliminary work to develop a practical framework for thinking about rights-respecting advocacy, policy and practice responses to support and empower children and young people in their daily encounters with the Internet and other networked digital technologies. Contemporary public service policy and practice responses to the role of the Internet in young people’s lives focus disproportionately on strategies involving web blocking and filtering, restriction of access to online spaces, and safety messaging highlighting what young people should not do online. We argue that such strategies can be both counterproductive, and lead to a neglect of the role of public services in promoting young people’s digital literacy and skills. Whilst the EU Kids Online program has highlighted that “safety initiatives to reduce risk tend also reduce opportunities” (De Haan & Livingstone, 2009), alternative strategies are needed that help professionals working with young people to move beyond a conceptual model in which the ‘risks’ and ‘opportunities’ of digital technologies are set up in opposition. In exploring how to respond to the online lives of children and young people, safety must sit alongside, and be integrated with, a broader range of considerations, including promoting positive uptake of online opportunities, promoting skills relevant to a digital economy, and encouraging the development of accessible, democratic online spaces in which rights to both play and participation, amongst others, can be realized. We suggest that the common classification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Provision, Protection and Participation rights (Cantwell, 1993) can provide the basis for such strategies, in which the protection of children and young people, the provision of appropriate services, spaces and support, and the participation of children and young people in shaping opportunities and managing their own safety, are all seen as integral parts of any work relating to children and young people’s online lives. We put forward a range of practical principles that can guide the design of responses to young people’s online lives, including: supporting digital citizenship; empowering young people; having robust responses to risk; promoting resiliency; providing positive spaces; and allowing young people to shape services.

Text
Rethinking Responses to Children and Young Peoples Online Lives - Davies, Bhullar, Dowty - EU Kids Online ISSN Copy.pdf - Other
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 September 2011
Additional Information: Event Dates: September 22-23rd 2011
Venue - Dates: EU Kids Online 2 - Final Conference, London, United Kingdom, 2011-09-23
Keywords: youth, young people, online safety, children's rights, uncrc
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 273226
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/273226
PURE UUID: b3b725d8-dd99-4ac6-a726-127312192454

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Feb 2012 21:11
Last modified: 21 Mar 2019 17:32

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