The story of Causas Digitales – small causes, giant horizons

12.05.2021 | Author: Soledad Magnone

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JAAKLAC <> Causas Digitales

Causas Digitales (Digital Causes) was one of the first developments in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) of JAAKLAC iniciativa. It was launched from a project with the same name carried out in collaboration with the regional youth organization Red ConCausa in November 2020. “Digital Causes. Rights and Solidarity on the Internet” was dedicated to promoting greater awareness of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), reflecting on what happens to its pillars of provision, protection and participation on the Internet, and developing opportunities for youth to exercise their rights and voice their opinions in the digital ecosystem.

Our Digital Future

The activity cycle of Causas Digitales was designed considering that by 2015, 1 out of every 3 people on the Internet was under 18 years of age, a proportion that increased amongst countries in the so-called “Global South”. Specialists in children’s rights on the Internet have problematized this scenario, pointing out how the Internet governance has systematically ignored the CRC. At the same time, they proposed that to mend this digital divide, solutions should seek to balance the protection and participation of minors in digital spaces (Livingstone and Bulger, 2014; Livingstone, Carr and Byrne, 2015; Third, Livingstone and Gerison, 2019). In this line, Causas Digitales focused its online workshops on inviting LAC youth to discuss and progress in the co-creation of a digital campaign on these issues.

Do It Together

Richard Barrios, Marielos Galindo, Eliany Guardado and Jhonny Ramírez participated from the Red ConCausa, who were essential in coordinating, convening and carrying out activities. This way we set together a group of 7 young people from Honduras, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia and Mexico, and with each activity we got to learn about each other, talk about Causas Digitales and develop the campaign. We also collaborated with Peca Mansilla, Gastón Cortesi and Abel Lesme from WILD FI who shared their work in campaigns for UNICEF, Techo and Amnesty and we did various exercises to materialize the campaign. We also had the visit of Jacobo Nájera to learn about his experience as a journalist for Global Voices and the important role of activism in sustaining internet freedom in LAC (Nájera, 2020).

Image - Causas Digitales activity brochures made by young participants:

convocatorias

We Walk Together

As a result of the activities we agreed to create a blog and an Instagram account for the campaign to reach a young audience. For this we designed a logo and defined “Causas Digitales: small causes, big changes. Youth from LAC taking action for rights and inspiring digital innovation”. Finally we put together a workshop summarizing the lessons learned from Causas Digitales which was joined by about 30 people between 13 and 46 years of Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Bolivia and Guatemala. We closed the project giving it continuity establishing the group Causas Digitales. This group still expands and develops by collaborating in the various activities of JAAKLAC. Examples so far are Glocal Mesh LAC, Detox de Datos Latinx, and the workshops on privacy policies/data protection for minors.

Azeneth Garcia (18 years old) participant and member of Causas Digitales:

“The experience in the cycle of activities was really enriching, since people from different regions and contexts of Latin America talked about the CRC; a topic that is rarely made visible, however, it is extremely important to know how to take care of these rights in virtual environments, since the future is increasingly digital and more children enter these spaces. It was revealing to realize that people who talk about these issues, we experience very similar situations from our communities regarding the rights of children and the digital environment, as there is a lack of interest and awareness of digital education; thus the initiative was taken to make this information more accessible in spaces where people mostly develop, for instance, social networks”.

  • solidarity collaborations in LAC,

  • meaningful participation for young people,

  • promotion of human rights,

  • development of an inclusive and free internet,

  • quality education in the digital age,

  • creativity and determination to build global digital citizenship.


🚀 More information about Causas Digitales, how to join the group or participate in their workshops:

Write us a message on Instagram or send us an email to: causasdigitaleslac[at]jaaklac.org


Note:

In March 2021 the UN published “General comment No. 25 (2021) on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment” which included the voices of 1000 young people around the world. This General Comment deepened the research on which Causas Digitales was designed and carried out. Access the General Comment Nr.25 report and its explanatory notes from 5Rights Foundation.


References

Livingstone S and Bulger M (2014) A Global Research Agenda for Children’s Rights in the digital age. Journal of Children and Media 8(4): 317-335.

Livingstone S, Carr J and Byrne J (2015) One in Three: The Task for Global Internet Governance in Addressing Children’s Rights. Report, Centre for International Governance Innovation and Chatham House, London, November.

OHCHR (2021) Observación general núm. 25 (2021) relativa a los derechos de los niños en relación con el entorno digital. Reporte, CRC/C/GC/25, Comité de los Derechos del Niño, ONU, Marzo.

Third A Livingstone S and Gerison L (2019) Recognizing children’s rights in relation to digital technologies: challenges of voice and evidence, principle and practice. In: Wagner B, Kettemann MC and Vieth K (eds) Research Handbook on Human Rights and Digital Technology. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, pp.376-410.