How to make Europe’s Digital Decade fit for children and young people?
What can be done to ensure that the digital world is fit for the future? And how can we ensure that we promote, protect, respect and fulfil the rights of all children and young people when they go online? The #DigitalDecade4YOUth consultation has been collecting views over recent months, and we are now reviewing your feedback. Please note, the consultation closed for responses on 11 October 2021 - thanks for all contributions!
In March 2021, the European Commission presented a vision and avenues for Europe’s digital transformation by 2030. This vision for the EU's Digital Decade evolves around four cardinal points of skills, secure and sustainable digital infrastructures, digital transformation of businesses, and digitalisation of public services. Through various consultation activities, the aim is to develop a set of digital principles for an interinstitutional declaration between the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council in late 2021.
At the heart of this work is a desire to ensure that the digital world is fit for the future and can allow everyone to benefit from all the opportunities it can offer. As part of wider consultation activities, children, youth, parents and carers, teachers and educators, and other stakeholders from across the European Union are being consulted on the priorities they see to promote, protect, respect and fulfil the rights of children and young people in a digital world. These important insights will also be used to inform a new Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Strategy, to be adopted in 2022.
Consultation work to date had already gained insights from some 750 children and young people through 70 focus groups. This wider consultation exercise aimed to gather wider input from those stakeholders who care for, educate, or can otherwise influence positive online opportunities and experiences for Europe's children and young people.
In the survey, we asked a series of questions, based on the questions which children and young people responded to so that we can compare perspectives. We asked respondents to consider the opportunities and benefits which children and young people can gain from being online, the challenges and risks which they might face, and who is (or should be) responsible for improving online experiences. We also asked for views on what policy makers need to do over the next decade to bring about change.
Alongside the responses already received from children and young people, this feedback will help to shape the ongoing work on digital principles within the EU, and will help to give Europe’s children and young people the best possible online experiences. Further updates will be shared on this page in due course. In case of questions on any aspect of the #DigitalDecade4YOUth campaign, please contact the project organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The topics covered in this survey were also the focus of discussions at the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), which took place online on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 October 2021. The SIF showcased key findings from the consultation work, amplifying the voices of children and young people to deliver a vision for a #DigitalDecade4YOUth. The event highlighted the priorities that different groups, including parents, carers and teachers, have identified in order to fulfil children’s rights in a digital world, while allowing them to engage, create and contribute within safe, ethical and inclusive online spaces.
Additionally, during a pre-event, on Tuesday 5 October, the outcomes of the #DigitalDecade4YOUth consultation to date were presented, followed by a youth-led discussion with the BIK Youth Panel 2021. Find out more about what happened at SIF 2021 at www.betterinternetforkids.eu/sif.