Youth for Rights event in Brussels

All human beings have human rights, as inscribed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But to what extent do we respect human rights when we cross the border from the offline world into the online space where anonymity comes into play and acts as a cover for behaviour that can sometimes be less respectful towards other human beings?

The internet has challenged and changed human behaviour and has shown that some people may not act online as they would offline. More than ever, it is clear that the internet is now part of the global landscape and is an integrated element of the discussions on human rights and on how to bring together all groups of stakeholders, including young people, to agree on respecting these rights, regardless of the space.

With the aim of gathering the views of young people and engaging them in discussions, Access Now, Sinar Project and NetMission.Asia are organising Youth for Rights 2017, a one-day workshop in Brussels on 28 March 2017. During the workshop, young people aged 18 to 30 years old will have the opportunity to meet with leaders of the digital rights community to discuss issues around policy, advocacy and movement building, along with technological issues such as freedom of expression, data protection and privacy, diversity and digital inclusion, human rights, and more.

This workshop also aims to actively prepare young people to participate in the RightsCon meeting which will take place 29-31 March 2017. The RightsCon meeting agenda includes sessions on topical issues where young people can actively participate by delivering their own lightning talk on stage on the subject of digital rights.

One of the topical issues under much scrutiny today is freedom of expression and how to counter harmful content that exists online. The Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) is actively tackling freedom of expression, cyberbullying, online hate speech, and online radicalisation and violence through national campaigns and resources that target all groups of stakeholders, from children and young people to parents, educators and carers. Moreover, SICs offer young people (and those that care for them) support and assistance whenever they encounter these issues online through a network of helplines that operate across Europe and beyond.

See the RightsCon website for further information, or follow on social media @rightscon. A report will be published on the RightsCon website following the event.

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Youth for Rights is calling for participants, aged 18-30, from across Europe!

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Here at the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, our aim is to provide a multistakeholder platform showcasing a range of viewpoints and experiences on keeping children and young people safe online. As such, we welcome guest blog posts on our areas of focus. We were recently contacted by TechieJB, a blogger on social media, cyber security, and online privacy, who shared with us her views on keeping teens safe on social media.