Youth Inclusion in Global Internet Governance
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To representatives of national and international Internet governance bodies:
We, the undersigned youth organizations and individuals, represent the many young people around the world working every day to help their communities get access to the resources and opportunities the Internet offers. Young people are, among many other things, building community networks, carrying out local and global digital literacy programs, encouraging youth participation in Internet governance, educating their peers about privacy and security, and advocating for everything from blockchain to human rights online.
We, as young people, are aware of the rapid pace at which the Internet is evolving. We know that we all must act to bridge digital divides, ensure everyone has the skills to fully benefit from new technology, and that Internet connection is widely available. We know that we cannot take the Internet for granted, and that we must fight for our personal freedoms and rights, making sure privacy and freedom of expression are core values. We want to empower users to be not only consumers, but also creators.
As the first and only digital natives, young people know the value of the Internet and the many resources and opportunities it offers. As such, we have seen firsthand the way it can positively impact communities all over the world. In our own communities – both local and national – we are actively working to ensure that regulation and standards uplift the most beneficial aspects of the Internet while mitigating any potential risks.
We know that it is critical that all stakeholders are included in important decisions regarding the Internet’s future, and each must take responsibility for guaranteeing an inclusive and safe environment. Yet, while we have dedicated our time and, for many of us, our careers to Internet governance, we are often not included in high level conversations about its future. We are too often put aside in decision-making processes, even though those processes have a huge impact on the technology-driven world we all live in.
We would like to change that. Looking forward, we see a clear path for global leaders to include young people in high level discussions about the future of the Internet. We are experts in a wide array of fields and topics within the umbrella of Internet governance, and we happily make ourselves available to you for inclusion in panels, working groups, forums, and other global conversations.
To facilitate our inclusion, we hope that you will reference this living repository of global and national youth organizations and representatives and take this opportunity to include young people in conversations that impact our digital future. We know that our voices matter in all global governance forums, and we look to you for an invitation to the table where critical decisions are being made. We call on you to actively listen to the contributions we make, and consider our inputs before making decisions that directly impact our futures.
The undersigned youths and organizations.
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