Parents, key stakeholders for child rights in the digital environment

10.03.23

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - At the annual day on the rights of the child, which focused on child rights in the digital environment, MMM reaffirmed the importance of considering parents as key stakeholders. We also drew attention to the negative impacts that parents' own use of digital technologies can have on children, and highlighted the need for awareness raising and education of parents.

The following is the full statement delivered by our UN Representative, Melissa Barbottin, as part of the discussions on the rights of the child and the digital environment. 

In an ever-changing world, digital technologies have undergone rapid transformation and children have not escaped these changes. Unfortunately, despite its many positive effects on our lives, the digital environment also presents serious risks for children.

We at MMM strongly believe that including, educating and supporting parents in the process of helping children navigate the digital environment safely and responsibly is key to mitigate these risks and preserve a child’s physical and mental integrity. In particular, as they assume most of the unpaid work of caring for and educating children, mothers should be equipped to guide and interact with their children about their use of digital technologies.

This means that parents themselves need to be educated on the risks and dangers of the digital world, and how they can provide age and gender appropriate guidance to their children to alleviate the risks while taking advantage of the benefits.

Parents must also be made aware of the impacts on their children of their own use of digital technologies. Not only does their own usage patterns influence their children’s but their overuse of screens reduces their interactions with their children. This can be particularly harmful for early childhood development.

Our recommendations:

  1. Equip parents with digital parenting skills by providing information, workshops or training, parenting resources, and fostering communication
  2. Encourage parents to have open communication with their children about their digital lives, so that they discuss the risks and benefits of technology, set rules and boundaries together, and establish a culture of trust and respect

Children have the right to access information, communicate, and express themselves online, but they also have the right to be protected from all forms of online violence and other indirect harm induced by the use of digital technologies. For these rights to be fulfilled, parents must be considered as key stakeholders, and adequately educated and supported.

MMM oral statement for download

The Annual Day on the Rights of the Child was part of the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council.

Most read articles

MMM welcomes first ever Human Rights Council resolution on Care

11.10.23

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - Entitled ‘Centrality of care and support from a human rights perspective’, this landmark resolution was presented by the governments of Argentina, Iceland, Mexico

Lire plus

A snapshot of our Women at the Peace Table Conference

20.06.23

It was by all accounts, a remarkable gathering of global peacemakers. They came from all over the world to lend their voice and support to the message of the Conference:

Lire plus

Call to action: make 2024 the EU year for Women’s Mental Health

09.10.23

In June this year, the European Union (EU) Commission announced a new high-priority initiative to address the mental health of all Europeans.

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

Supporting mothers as caregivers and educators – MMM @ the Human Rights Council

26.03.24

UN Geneva - As the 55th session of the Human Rights council wraps up, here is an overview of our contributions to the discussions that took place on a wide range of topics. Our aim with all our interventions wa

Read more

Mothers run the most demanding start-up: the family

24.03.24

UN New York, CSW68 - These wise words, uttered by of one of the speakers at our event, Let's change the narrative: invest in mothers, sums up the challenges faced by mothers. Organised online on the margins of

Read more

Let’s change the narrative: Invest in Mothers

11.03.24

UN New York, CSW68 - Join us for a discussion on changing the narrative in support of mothers - an online parallel event to the 68th UN Commission on the Status of Women

Read more

Be Family® – committing companies to act in support of families in the workplace

01.03.24

MMM as founding member, is pleased to announce the launch of Be Family®, a bold and new movement that aims to ensure companies and organisations act inclusively and responsibly towards families and people with

Read more

Inclusive social protection for realising children’s rights

01.03.24

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - - Co-organised with a group of Child Rights organisations, we invite you to join us for this hybrid event which will take place around the HRC's annual day of the rights of the

Read more

Stop using women and girls as weapons of war says MMM member

27.02.24

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - Passy Mubalama, Activist and Executive Director of Aidprofen, our associate member in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was one of the 4 Civil Society speakers selected to addr

Read more