On the 29th July 2015 Baroness Beeban Kidron launched iRights, a new civil society initiative which seeks to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people (under 18) by delivering a universal framework of digital rights, in order that young people are able to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly.
The initiative was also supported by Baroness Shields, the UK’s Minister for Internet Safety and Security and Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England,
The iRights framework has five iRights principles which interlinks to try to tackle the multiple issues of digital engagement for children and young people. The iRights principles includes:
- The Right to REMOVE
- Every child and young person should have the right to easily edit or delete all content they have created
- The Right to KNOW
- Children and young people have the right to know who is holding or profiting from their information, what their information is being used for and whether it is being copied, sold or traded.
- The Right to SAFETY AND SUPPORT
- Children and young people should be confident that they will be protected from illegal practices and supported if confronted by troubling or upsetting scenarios online.
- The Right to INFORMED AND CONSCIOUS CHOICES
- Children and young people should be empowered to reach into creative places online, but at the same time have the capacity and support to easily disengage
- THE Right to DIGITAL LITERACY
- To access the knowledge that the Internet can deliver, children and young people need to be taught the skills to use, create and critique digital technologies, and given the tools to negotiate changing social norms.
The iRights report also identified that the responsibility for the range of needs outlined in the key principles cannot be delivered alone by any one stakeholder and the framework should therefore identify a set of key principles which governments, corporations, adults, parents and young people should negotiate their online engagement.
To find out more about the iRights framework and principles visit http://irights.uk/
What does this mean for schools and education settings?
The iRights initiative could be utilised by schools and settings as a stimulus for discussion with children and young people about their online rights and responsibilities both personally and within an educational context.
Education leaders could seek to ensure that their online safety curriculum reflects the five key principles and empowers children to build digital literacy and resilience.