In this week’s conversation I’m chatting with Elizabeth Milovidov, a member of the Working Group of experts on Digital Citizenship Education and an independent expert on Digital Parenting and Children and Internet for the Children’s Rights Division of Council of Europe.
She is also the author of many books and workbooks for parents, children and families, all are designed to be tools that allow parents to start the conversation with their children. It became clear very early on that Elizabeth is also a passionate advocate of children’s rights online and I had to admit that although I’ve been working in the digital world since the early 90’s and it had never occurred to me be concerned about what happens in the digital world with children beyond the media news stories I have heard about grooming. What became fascinating was the juxtaposition between the many different perspectives that guide what we, as individuals, use the Internet for.
We talked about her life in law and interest in children’s rights morphed into her website and books about digital parenting. Elizabeth explained that she brought up ‘digital’ into everything she thought about and taught, for example in contract law what does the Facebook use contract say about who owns the photographs posted on their site. We laughed over her original name for the site which was crossing guard consultant, when one of those amazing serendipitous coincidences happened that forced Elizabeth to focus on just one area of children’s rights.
Our conversation sparked another of those interesting segues about marginalised voices, which we are both involved in albeit in different ways – me in the world of patient public involvement in research, and Elizabeth with Article 12 of the UN’s declaration of human rights that requires every voice related to a topic that impacts people to be heard.
It became clear as we talked that this subject is not just about pornography relating to children’s images, but it also moves across online bullying, content bubbles and how Tim Berners-Lee has looked on his creation and is concerned about what now is happening online with the digitally marginalised and disadvantaged – oh and for those who noticed, the population of the UK is around 67,000,000+ not the 60,000,000 I mentioned .. ooops!
As the conversation continued we touched upon the impact of Coronavirus and the expanding digital divide that is being exposed. And yet, in the challenge we also dwelt on the positive, such as healing the planet and slowing down. Elizabeth loves writing and her personal aim is to write a thriller that takes a different look at the topics she is passionate about, one reason for this is because people remember stories rather than dry facts. She uses the example of Steig Larsson and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which gives the reader an insight and education on trafficking and human rights.
If you’d like to find out more about Elizabath and her work on her website: https://www.digitalparentingcoach.com/
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