Call for papers: Children’s and young people’s rights in the digital age

Call for papers: Children’s and young people’s rights in the digital age
Publication date
04/09/15 15:54
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This special issue seeks to unpack the ways digital media are impacting – both positively and negatively – children’s rights today and, in doing so, to reflect on the ways that children’s rights might provide a meaningful counterpoint from which to consider the role of ‘the digital’ in advancing human rights more broadly. Assembling contributions from leading scholars and practitioners in the field internationally, this special issue seeks to bring fully into view the ways in which children’s rights – indeed rights generally – may be being reconfigured by the appropriation of digital networked technologies around the world.

Submissions will critically examine the normative and socio-technological assumptions embedded in conceptual, policy and practitioner perspectives. To catalyse the debates, we now call for reflective papers of 6000-7000 words analysing key dilemmas or tensions shaping children’s rights in the digital age, as well as shorter empirical or practitioner pieces (3000-4000 words each).

Papers on key dilemmas or tensions that respondents to the call might address include:

  • The tension between universal or fundamental human rights and the specific rights demanded by the digital age
  • The tensions between ‘adult rights’ and ‘children’s rights’
  • The relationship between children’s rights and their citizenship
  • Collective rights versus individual rights
  • The tension between ‘adult power’ and ‘children’s rights’
  • The tension between the universal (‘the child’, ‘rights’) and the specific (the lived experiences of children)
  • Hierarchies of children’s rights in the digital age
  • Children’s rights in the digital age in the global North and global South

Empirical or practitioner pieces might address:

  • Children’s privacy rights and the role of peers and peer culture
  • Youth participation rights in the mediated public sphere
  • Historical shifts in children’s communication rights
  • Child protection in the global South: is the internet helping or hindering?
  • From principles to practice: applying arguments about digital rights in particular domains
  • Who is (or should be) ensuring children’s rights online – parents, government, industry?
  • Children’s creative workarounds to gain health resources online
  • Evaluating initiatives for e-learning and other digital educational programmes
  • How are children’s rights represented or abused in ‘big data’
  • Digital exclusion as a barrier to children’s communication rights
  • Rethinking possibilities for children’s identity and expression in the network society
  • Problems of reputation for networked youth
  • Public policy /multi-stakeholder governance regarding children’s rights in the digital age
  • Children’s information rights: what are the dilemmas?
  • Education for all – newly possible in the network society?
  • Grooming, hacking, cyberstalking, trolling and other crimes against children online
  • Meanings/limits of “voice” in participatory research on children’s rights in the digital age
  • The intergenerational dimensions of children’s rights

Please submit abstracts for either the ‘dilemma’ papers or ‘empirical/practitioner papers’ by 15th September 2015 to both editors – Sonia Livingstone ( and Amanda Third (

The editors will invite full papers from selected submissions by early October, with full papers to be submitted for independent review by 1st February 2016. It is anticipated that the special issue will be published via Online First by late 2016.

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Sonia Livingstone ( // Amanda Third (

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