The challenge of digital exclusion is not a new one. However, the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic – and subsequent school closures – shone a spotlight on the importance of digital access for children and young people across the UK.
Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which the UK Government is a duty bearer, every child has the right to a quality education (Articles 28 and 29), to access information (Article 17) and to leisure, culture and play (Article 31). As children live increasingly digital lives, digital inclusion will only increase in importance to fulfil these rights.
As such, access to the digital world can no longer be seen as a luxury. Instead, digital inclusion must be seen as the cornerstone to ensuring social justice and equitable life chances for every child. Our new report sets out how the UK Government can realise its ‘levelling up’ agenda and end digital exclusion of children in the UK, for all and for good.