Entering the World of Children's Rights in the Digital Age

On March 2, 2021, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child published a General Comment entirely devoted to the rights of the child in relation to the digital environment. Among the opportunities offered by technological tools, we can think of the different platforms that allow children to stay in touch with their friends and to maintain common interests with peers. Moreover, many educational contents available on the Internet can certainly contribute to enrich children's knowledge and their openness to the world. On the other hand, some important risks are caused by the misuse of these technological tools by minors, including several worrying phenomena such as unlimited access to online pornography and sexually explicit content as well as the risk of important impacts on physical and psychological health caused by excessive or inadequate use.

Date and time

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

11:30 – 13:00




Event in French

To receive the link

to the event:

  • Senator Julie MIVILLE-DECHÊNE

Since her appointment to the Senate in 2018, Senator Miville-Dechêne has introduced two Senate bills: bill S-210, which would mandate age verification mechanisms to protect minors from exposure to online pornography, and bill S-211 on modern slavery, a bill that would require more transparency from companies on the use of forced labor and child labor in their supply chains. Prior to her appointment to the Senate, Julie Miville-Dechêne had a long career in the public service sector where she distinguished herself as a talented communicator. She was a journalist and correspondent for Radio-Canada in Canada and the United States before becoming its ombudsman in 2007. She chaired the Conseil du statut de la femme from 2011 to 2016, before doing a short stint in diplomacy for the Quebec government.

  • Caroline FITZPATRICK | Professor of psychopedagogy, Université de Sherbrooke

Caroline Fitzpatrick is an associate professor of child development at the University of Sherbrooke and a visiting researcher in child education at the University of Johannesburg. She has been interested in the impact of digital media use on children since 2010. Her research to date has been published in scholarly journals such as (IntelligenceJAMA Pediatrics, and the International Journal of Nutrition and Physical Activity) suggest that excessive screen use can have detrimental consequences on children's physical, cognitive and emotional development. This work has attracted the attention of several media sources including Radio-Canada, Quebec Science, Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. His work has been cited by the Canadian Paediatric Society and is intended to guide social policies aimed at improving children's health.

  • Marie-Pier JOLICOEUR | Doctoral Student in law, Université Laval and Member of the IRLRC

Marie-Pier Jolicoeur is a doctoral candidate in law at Université Laval under the supervision of Professor Pierre-Luc Déziel and Professor Mona Paré of the University of Ottawa. Her thesis project focuses on the question of legal solutions to be implemented to regulate the use of digital technologies in order to protect the health and development of young children. She is a student researcher affiliated with the Centre de recherche en droit public de l'Université de Montréal (CRDP) and a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on the Rights of the Child (IRLRC). She is also a research and teaching assistant at the Faculty of Law of Université Laval. She currently holds the position of research coordinator for the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technologies (OBVIA).