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Sexual Rights and Sexual Risks Among Youth Online

Sexual rights and sexual risks among youth online: a review of existing knowledge regarding childrenand young people’s developing sexuality in relationto new media environmentsFull Article Title: Sexual Rights and Sexual Risks Among Youth Online: A Review of Existing Knowledge Regarding Children and Young People’s Developing Sexuality in Relation to New Media Environments

Open Access: Yes


This research comprises a desk-based literature review. It was undertaken on behalf of the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO). eNACSO is a European Children’s Rights NGO network working on children’s and young people’s safety online, funded by the European Commission. The network was established in 2008 and currently has 28 members from across Europe ( eNACSO is a unique network in that it brings together the views, experiences and voices of non-governmental/civil society organisations that have children’s needs and rights at heart. Its mission is, in fact, based on the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and aims to promote and support actions at national, European and international level, to protect children and promote their rights in relation to new media. Children and young people benefit enormously from access to the Internet and constitute one of the fastest-growing groups of internet users. However, there are many issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure their rights are respected even in the new media environment. eNACSO monitors emerging trends of the digital world while identifying priority issues whenever serious violations of children’s rights in this context are detected. Furthermore it develops analyses, and then uses the results to produce position papers and recommendations, as well as effective advocacy strategies at all policy levels to ensure that child protection and empowerment become a high priority on the overall political agenda. Within this framework, a number of issues arise when we look at how young people may behave online in relation to sexuality. It has become quite clear that they use new media to explore, find information or, in a word, experience their sexuality. There is nothing odd or unusual about this, given the fact that young people and children are so intimately involved in the new media. There are some potentially negative consequences that might be caused by behaviour based on a lack of experience and knowledge. There is an urgent need to ensure the safety of children and young people by providing them with the information and relevant tools they need to develop their own sexuality. This study represents a first step in the investigation and identification of instances in which children and young people sexual rights are being violated in the new media environment with the aim of devising the most appropriate strategy to tackle it at policy level.


    Livingstone, S., & Mason, J. (2015). Sexual rights and sexual risks among youth online: A review of existing knowledge regarding children and young people’s developing sexuality in relation to new media environments. European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online.


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