Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland
“Being online is a significant part of many children’s lives. The digital environment is full of important spaces where they can exercise their human rights, including participating in education, accessing support, nurturing social and family connections, as well as cultural rights and play which are essential to development.
Making spaces for conversations about life online is not just a ‘nice thing to do’; children have a right to participate in matters that affect them and involving children is crucial aspect of a rights based approach. On Safer Internet Day, I’ll be supporting a group of children and young people to meet with UN experts to talk about the issues that matter – both offline and online. Children must be at the heart of designing improvements to ensure that they can participate online, while being protected from harm. That means they are a part of the conversations from the very beginning, and adult decision-makers, including governments must work on solutions alongside them.
We must value children as active participants and rights-holders; they are the experts in their own lives and experiences. Making space to talk about life online, to find out what really matters and acting upon that, should be a priority.”