Have your say!

How to make Europe’s Digital Decade fit for children and young people?

 

In March 2021, the European Commission published 2030 Digital Compass: the European way for the Digital Decade, which presents a vision, targets and avenues for a successful digital transformation of Europe by 2030. A corresponding consultation exercise, running until September 2021, is seeking to gather the views of European citizens on a broad range of digital priorities for the coming years in areas such as public services, health and education and, crucially, it includes a specific focus on priorities for children and young people in the online space.

Recognising the importance of children and young people's rights, also in the digital space, it is critical that their voices are heard and their views are taken into account when creating such a vision.

Alongside the Digital Decade consultation therefore, an ambitious and targeted consultation exercise is currently in progress (May-July 2021) to gather views directly from Europe’s children and young people. A second phase of activity (from August-October 2021) will seek to gather views from those that support children and young people online such as parents, carers and teachers.

Read on to find out more about how we are currently consulting with children and young people...

What?

The European Commission and other decision makers want to make sure that the digital world is fit for the future and can allow everyone to benefit from all the opportunities it can offer. In doing so, they want to hear ideas from all users, and especially children and young people.

Why?

This is a chance for children and young people to have a say on the things that matter to them about being online. Through the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres, and other trusted partners, we're talking to children and young people, right across Europe, to gather views and feedback on how they use the internet.

How?

During a group session, a facilitator will work with children and young people to listen to their stories and ideas. They'll ask some questions, set some activities, and will take notes on what the young people tell them. We especially want to know:

  • The ways in which children and young people use technology and what they do online.
  • What children and young people care about most when it comes to being online, but also which challenges or risks concern them.
  • What, in their opinion, could make the digital world a better place in the future.

There are no right or wrong answers, and this is not a test or experiment... we just want to find out what's important to younger users of the internet!

All facilitators are required to follow a strict protocol which follows good-practice guidance in terms of children's rights in the digital world, and how to ensure meaningful child and youth participation. Anything the children and young people tell us will be kept anonymous, and no personal data will be shared. Participants don't have to answer any questions if they don't want to, and if they don't feel like talking, no problem! They can decide not to take part at any point.

What next?

The ideas that children and young people share will be used to write a report which will be passed to the European Commission, and other people and organisations responsible for shaping the internet in the future. We'll also be working with other adults later in the year – parents, carers and teachers – to make sure that we understand what they need to support you online. Together, this will then help to shape decisions and policies about being online in Europe for the next 10 years.

Want to know more?

Please stay tuned to this page and other Better Internet for Kids (BIK) channels for further information as the consultation exercise progresses, including ways that wider stakeholders can get involved.

Alternatively, contact the project organisers at digitaldecade@betterinternetforkids.eu.