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Code for children’s rights: Designing technology with children in mind

On Friday 12 March 2021, the (Dutch) website www.codevoorkinderrechten.nl was launched. This code for children’s rights has been created to help those involved in the development and design of digital services to develop these services with the interests of children in mind.

Commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, together with Waag technology & society, the Centre for Law and Digital Technologies (eLaw) of Leiden University has produced the code after consulting with children, designers, tech developers and other experts.  

Apps and games play an increasingly greater role in the lives of children with them spending far more time on them. Digital technology therefore plays an important part in how children develop. What is seen in practice, however, is that when these technologies are designed, choices are made that are not in the interests of children, of that could even be damaging to their wellbeing.  

The code has ten principles, each one based on rules and regulations such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the GDPR. For each principle, practical examples are provided for implementing the rights of the child. The guiding principles for the code are putting the interests of the child first and actively involving children in the design of a digital service.  

Participants on behalf of eLaw were Simone van der Hof, Rosalie Kok and Melis Bilgin, and on behalf of Waag were Quirine van Eeden, Hannah Grijns, Hannah Volman and Sander van der Waal. 

More information is available from Simone van der Hof s.van.der.hof@law.leidenuniv.nl or using the contact information given on the website itself.

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