The rights of children and the digital environment


Wednesday, 2nd June, 2021


This event has concluded

This is the sixth in a series of webinars bringing together practitioners and academic experts to develop greater knowledge and understanding of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and its implementation in Australia.

In March this year the Committee on the Rights of the Child published its General Comment No 25 on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment. In this document the CRC Committee throws light on how digital technologies affect the full range of children’s rights in positive and negative ways. It makes recommendations as to what governments should do to protect, respect and realise children’s rights online, and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of business, parents, educators, service providers and children themselves.

Digital platforms accessible to children and young people have a contribution to make to the realisation of their rights to education, health, and participation. Internet platforms can also enable social interaction and community participation.

However, the deleterious impacts of restrictions to this access have been exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, lockdowns of schools have meant that children with no internet access or limited access to technology have been deprived of proper education. This has impacted heavily on disadvantaged communities in Australia, especially rural and remote communities, First Nations children and children living with a disability. In addition, more time spent online has resulted in children experiencing increased exposure to risks and harm, including cyberbullying and threats; image-based abuse; receiving unwanted content and experiencing unwanted contact from adults.

NOTE: At least half an hour will be allocated for questions and answers, and comments


Dr. Faith Gordon is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the College of Law at the ANU with special expertise in the areas of criminal justice and criminal law. Among her many research projects, she has collaborated with the London-based youth organisation Catch22 in exploring the usage of social media among children and young people and the increasing harm caused by inappropriate online behaviour and content.


Dr Noam Peleg, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW, Book Review Editor, The International Journal of Children's Rights.

Matthew Keeley, Director, Youth Law Australia.

Links and resources

Presentation by Dr. Faith Gordon, Senior Lecturer in Law at the College of Law at the ANU, at the 6th CRC Webinar, in conjunction with Youth Law Australia and Australian Lawyers for Human Rights.

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