Today is World Consumer Rights Day and at Child Online Africa; we are focusing on the five keys to building trust with children and young people in their choice and use of connected devices. Like we all know; smart products are connected to the internet and they receive, collect and send data. According to Consumers International, there are currently 23.1 billion smart products in the world, outnumbering people; three to one.
If World Consumer Rights Day is the opportunity to deliver real impact for consumers and remind the world about the importance of observing and enforcing consumer rights, then children and young people should not be left out. Smart phones, digitized toys aside cartoons, voice activated assistants, smart TVs, and most of the devices used domestically end up being connected by default.
Children as consumers must have their rights within the digital space and this protection ought to be offered by the adults who might be producing, distributing or even creating these products.
This is the first of our five part series we would be publishing and we wish to send home this message with this publication; children are consumers and should be treated with respect and dignity: ACCESS AND INCLUSION.
The UN recognizes the availability of broadband infrastructure as a prerequisite to a country’s economic development. As such without access, people cannot enjoy the communication, information and commercial benefits that digital technology offers and, as a result, both businesses and consumers miss out. Even though there has been so much to celebrate for connectivity, very little can be said about consideration given to children and young people in the scheme of things.
The child is a consumer and this is one of the Key Performance Indicators of a product’s development. If children’s needs were/are catered for in developing products, we would not have to go back to demand for protection of children using these devices because parents would only just have to activate their child user friendly functioning for their children. It is important that rights based child focused organizations promote access and inclusion of children as consumers, in this case, in the use of connected devices.