CLIA Director Tong Lihua speaks at the UN Human Rights Council on child cyberbullying

The 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council was held in Geneva from September 11 to October 13. On the morning of September 27, the UN Human Rights Council held a special panel discussion on preventing children’s cyberbullying. Mr. Asim Ahmed, Vice President of the UN Human Rights Council, Ms. Nada al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, and relevant experts and scholars made special speeches. CLIA Director Tong Lihua addressed the discussion on preventing children’s cyberbullying.

The international community should fully recognize the complexity behind the issue of child cyberbullying. After experiencing the agricultural age and the industrial age, human society is rapidly entering the digital age. User rights have become the most complex and extensive issue affecting citizens’ rights. We are all users of platform enterprises, and our rights will be affected to varying degrees. In this process, children’s rights are most seriously affected, and cyberbullying is one of the most prominent problems. Behind this issue, there is a complex era background: First, more and more children are becoming Internet users. In most countries in the world, the proportion of children online far exceeds that of adults, and children have become new citizens in the digital age. Second, there is an inherent causal relationship between online violence, false content and children’s cyberbullying. More and more studies are focusing on the impact of online violence on children’s cyberbullying. How to effectively reduce violent content on the Internet and prevent the negative impact of violent content on children is a key issue that the current international community should pay attention to. Third, we need to innovate ways and means to prevent children’s cyberbullying. In the digital age, algorithms and the latest artificial intelligence technologies are playing an increasingly important role in various fields. How to explore the application of big data, effective use of algorithms and artificial intelligence in the prevention and control of children’s cyberbullying is a new proposition that urgently needs to be considered in the field of child protection.

China has actively explored the prevention and control of children’s online bullying. China’s digital applications are at the forefront of the world, and the positive and negative effects of the Internet on children have been fully revealed. Therefore, the whole Chinese society pays close attention to the issue of children’s online protection, including online bullying. First, the state has formulated special laws. The National People’s Congress has revised the “Law on the Protection of Minors” and stipulated a special chapter on “Online Protection”. The State Council has issued the “Regulations on the Online Protection of Minors”. These laws and regulations clearly and specifically stipulate the specific requirements for the prevention and control of online bullying. Second, it pays full attention to the main responsibility of platform enterprises. Platform enterprises have built online virtual space, which should play a key role in the prevention and control of children’s online bullying. Third, it is emphasized that the government, judicial organs, online platform enterprises, families, schools, and social organizations should actively participate in the prevention and control of children’s online bullying.

Call on the international community to take concrete action. Unlike traditional multinational companies, large platform enterprises have a comprehensive impact on children’s rights, including new problems such as cyberbullying that seriously violate children’s rights; many countries and large platform enterprises lack experience in how to strengthen child protection in the digital age, so that many countries lack special targeted legislation, and many large platform enterprises lack specific internal mechanisms, special rules and specific measures to protect children’s rights; the UN Human Rights Council has adopted the Guiding Rules on Business and Human Rights, which has played a positive role in guiding multinational companies to actively participate in global human rights protection. Therefore, we call for the integration of resources from governments, large platform enterprises and social organizations to strengthen research on children’s cyberbullying; the UN Human Rights Council formulates the Guiding Rules on Platform Enterprises and Children’s Rights to support and help governments and large platform enterprises to play a better role in protecting children’s rights; strengthen the provision of resources and technical support to developing countries, especially to child protection social organizations in developing countries, and cultivate more professionals who are familiar with the characteristics of preventing children’s cyberbullying in the digital age; Summarize the problems existing in current child cyberbullying cases, promote the sharing of global best practices, and promote cooperation among different countries, platform enterprises, and social organizations.

Children are the future of humanity. Facing the new era of rapid development, we need to strengthen child protection work in more innovative and effective ways, so as to lay a solid foundation for the healthy growth of children and the bright future of human society.

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