Out of more than 7 billion people on the planet, it is likely that no more than a few thousand have ever heard of General Comment No. 25 just issued by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
It is likely that only a few hundred know the names of the drafters of General Comment No. 25 just issued by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Yet, General Comment No. 25 purports to tell all governments, all businesses, and, more importantly, all parents how to apply children’s rights when it comes to the internet.
Keep in mind that the general comments issued by such treaty monitoring bodies have no force in law; they are not even enforceable suggestions. But they will be accepted by governments and businesses as legal norms they must impose on parents and their children.
The drafters of the document are concerned that children will come across “untrustworthy information online.” Without a doubt, this is a concern of all. Still, many would consider judging “untrustworthy” is appropriately left to parents and not to governments and businesses. As it is now, social media giants determine that certain viewpoints, usually politically conservative ones, are out of bounds and therefore blocked. On the other hand, tech giants refuse to block hard-core pornography from the eyes of children. Facebook, for instance, is among the most prominent purveyors of child pornography in the world.
One of the subjects that parents may find most alarming is that children have the “right to freedom of expression [including] the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, using any media of their choice.” Most parents in the world would likely object to this notion that children have a right to information of “all kinds” from any source. Read more…