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To attend this webinar please register on Zoom.

For years, UNICEF has been calling on world leaders to invest in better data on children, warning in particular about missing data concerning half of the child-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators. Without such data, effective child and children’s rights protection is impossible, as problems remain invisible and discrimination unidentified.

On the other hand, data relating to children as a vulnerable group is especially protected and legal safeguards prevent data sharing and aggregation to protect children’s rights, such as their right to privacy. However, misunderstanding data protection has in several cases led to serious harm to children, and it is thus imperative to develop structured solutions to the challenge of children’s complex (data) rights.

Drawing on the example of children with disabilities, I discuss the pressing need to collect reliable and meaningful data on children and the state’s obligation to implement appropriate data collection systems that account for all children, individually and collectively. Here, I introduce the concept of data stewardship as a potential way forward for the ethical utilisation of children’s data that is in the best interests of children.