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Law Council of Australia


Children’s Rights in Relation to the Digital Environment

17 May 2019

On 16 May 2019, the Law Council made a submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN Committee) regarding a proposed General Comment on Children’s Rights in Relation to the Digital Environment. The Law Council took this opportunity to outline some live issues in the Australian context, which may help to inform the UN Committee’s General Comment.

The submission addresses a range issues and rights including: the ‘digital exclusion’ of marginalised young people without access to technology; the relationship between technology and access to justice; the impact of artificial intelligence and data retention on privacy and non-discrimination rights; means of protecting children from harm online; problematic digital communication within the family environment; and the responsibilities of government and businesses to appropriately regulate the digital landscape.

The Law Council drew on its Justice Project, as well as previous submissions, including its submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Technology and Human Rights consultation, and to various Parliamentary Committees on cyberbullying, sexting, metadata and the My Health Record system.

The Law Council is grateful for contributions from its Family Law Section and the Law Society of New South Wales in preparing the submission.