The right to get information
Your rights under the UNCRC
UNCRC, Article 17: It’s your right to get information that is important to your well-being from the media. Adults should make sure that the information you are getting is not harmful, and help you find and understand the information you need.
Your rights under Irish law
-Under the Citizen Information Act 2007, it’s your right to get information about your rights.
-Under the Public Libraries Ireland Act 1855, it’s your right to get information from the library.
Did you know?
- Although as a child, you don’t have the right to a computer or a smart phone, libraries are funded through public money and you can go online and get information from books and other sources there for free.
- 16.1 million people visit the library every year, with 5.1 million (32%) being children under the age of 14. (Public Library Authority Statistics 2011).
- 62% of libraries have noticed an increase of teenage membership over the past 5 years (DCYA, Young People and Local Libraries, 2010).
- Schools may block certain websites on the school WIFI network to protect their students as they feel these websites are not appropriate.
- Access to the internet is not the same across Ireland. Some parts of the country have internet speeds up to 36 times slower than other parts, according to a survey by Switcher.ie in 2016. The best place for internet speeds in Ireland is Drimnagh, Dublin 12 and the slowest place is Legan in Co. Longford.
- The Irish Film Classification Office was set up in 1923 because of the Censorship of Films Act. This office gives video games and films different ratings according to how suitable they are for children (18/15/12A/PG).
- Safer Internet Day is an annual event that is celebrated in more than 100 countries, including Ireland. It’s about promoting safe internet use and raising awareness of how everyone, including children and young people, can play a part in creating a better and safer internet.
- A 2017 report from UNICEF looked at children in a digital age and access to the internet around the world. 346 million young people are not connected to the internet and 3 out of 5 young people in Africa are not connected online, compared to only 1 in 25 in Europe.
- The ‘Net Children Go Mobile’ report also says that a quarter of 13-14 year olds and 37% of 15-16 year olds said that they have experienced something online that bothered them or they wished they hadn’t seen.
- Citizens Information Online has information about your rights and entitlements. In some counties, there are youth information centres where you can drop in and get information about your rights and entitlements in education, careers, sport and leisure, and so on.
Hear your right – read by Sean McGinnity
Tá sé de cheart agat eolas a fháil faoi cad atá tábhachtach do d’fholláine, ón raidió, ón bpáipéar nuachta, as leabhair, ó ríomhairí agus ó fhoinsí eile. Ba chóir do dhaoine fásta a chinntiú nach ndéanfaidh an t-eolas sin dochar duit, agus ba chóir dóibh cuidiú leat an t-eolas a bheidh ag teastáil uait a aimsiú agus a thuiscint.
Éist le do chearta – léite ag Luke Ó Murchú
What children and young people are saying
- “Getting information is important because … it gives you knowledge and knowledge is power.”
- Jack (14) has a passion for video editing, and often makes videos for his school assignments. He finds that using imagery in video provides a strong visual aid to spread awareness and get information. After discussing children’s rights and the It’s Your Right campaign with a group of teenagers, including Jack, at a workshop held in Fighting Words, Jack was inspired to make this video to raise awareness about children’s rights.
Find out more
- Youth Information Centre – There are youth information centres around the country. To see where your nearest one is, check out here and here.
- Spunout– The Online Safety Hub has information for young people on how to stay safe online
- Watch Your Space – Take a look at Watch Your Space to see what young people are doing to tackle cyber-bullying.
- Safer Internet Day – Find out about Safer Internet Day.
- CRIN – Child Rights International Network – This organisation campaigns for children’s rights around the world. They advocate for children to get access to information.
Explore More – Resource materials for Teachers & Educators
- Life Education – ‘The bCyberwise Monster Family Game’. Online game for children to learn about internet safety, including how to recognise a safe website.
- Children’s Commissioner UK – Digital Citizenship: Young people’s rights on social media – Teaching Packs 7-16 year olds
- Webwise – The Webwise website includes a range of educational resources for working with children and young people on issues relating to internet safety.
- British Library – ‘My Digital Rights’. This page includes a number of activities that can support young people to explore the right to information online (2015).