Children's Legal Rights Journal


Article 16 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child (UNCRC) broadly entitles children to protections of their privacy and reputations. Under the UNCRC, nations have pledged to uphold any protections necessary to protect children against such attacks or interference regarding their honor and reputation. Among the 196 member states of this convention, very few have specific legislation dedicated to protecting children's privacy rights. As the cyberworld has increasingly become heavily accessible to children, so has the notion that their reputation and honor revolve around how they are perceived on the internet. Nevertheless, throughout most member states, privacy legislation strictly focuses on cyber dangers regarding sexual exploitation and abuse of children. However, cyberbullying and even fraud are also cyber dangers that are increasingly common among children and are often left unaddressed by countless nations.

Data shows that many children that have committed or attempted suicide have been wholly or partly affected by cyberbullying or other influences that stem from internet activities. Current international privacy agreements and legislation within individual nations are vague about cyberbullying and protecting children's information or digital footprints. Children are susceptible to hacking, identity theft, and catfishing, which in turn can become mechanisms for cyberbullying that render a child vulnerable. This oftentimes leaves children to feel no other alternative beyond suicide. Although there are many triggers for suicide among children, the lack of effective and specific privacy laws protecting children's information and the accessibility to the cyberworld is appalling and certainly contributes to child suicide rates worldwide. Thus, this article will discuss the role the cyberworld plays in children's lives and the consequences of lax privacy laws worldwide, particularly provisions meant to protect children.

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