The Voice Of A Generation

My Trip to the 5 Rights Summit in Edinburgh


On the 3rd of October 2018, I travelled to Scotland for the 5 Rights Summit in Edinburgh to represent the National Youth Council of Ireland (NCYI) and the British-Irish Council. We were there to discuss the 5 Digital Rights of young people as well as to discuss the little-known facts about social networking sites and their terms and conditions.

The organisers, Young Scot, have been influential in changing Scotland for the better for Young people. Such as introducing the Young Scot card which acts as an age card and discount card for travel and shopping, as well as being a driving force in the Vote at 16 bill.

Young Scot and the 5 Rights Youth Commission presented their report to us titled “Our Digital Rights”, a report they have already presented to the Scottish Government in May 2017.

Myself and Sarah Canavan at the 5 Rights Summit in Edinburgh representing NYCI and the British-Irish Council.

The summit opened with Kate Forbes MSP, Scottish Minister for Public Finance & Digital Economy saying that young people need to be stop being treated like the leaders of tomorrow because they are the leaders of today. She also mentioned that the Scottish Government completely support the young people in the country. This is not only something which they are happy to say, this something they are actually proud of, and they actively show it. Something that in my opinion the Irish government should really follow suit in doing. Also, the fact that we do not have a Minister that deals with the digitals goings on in this country baffles me considering the number of digital companies with global offices here.

Then we heard from the 5 Rights Founder, Baroness Beeban Kidron, who was speaking about young people and the internet. “internet is designed to treat people equal so it does not recognise the needs of children.” She also goes on to say 1 in 3 people on the internet are under the age of 18. She recalled an event she attended at Capital Hill where the CEO of Netflix said something along the lines of this following statement. “We have no real competition here at Netflix, our only competition is sleep.” The price of sleep-deprived young people is clearly not a problem for Netflix.

We then had a presentation by the Young Scot 5 Rights Youth Leadership Group on the 5 Rights. They said that the common theme they found through their report is the need to stop looking at the digital and analogue world in different lights. Hence the word being scribbled out of the title of the report.

For those who are not familiar with the 5 Rights they are inspired by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) they consist of;

  • Right to Remove
  • Right to Know
  • Right to Safety and Support
  • Right to Informed and Conscious use
  • Right to Digital Literacy

These as well as the fact about 1 in 3 people online being under the age of 18 but yet the Irish Government for some reason instead of providing digital literacy to young people, they instead want to take away young people’s rights and opportunities online. I think ultimately, we as a country should adopt these rights and get the government to actively get involved with young people and create a more dynamic and positive place for the young people of the future.

To find out more on the 5 Rights visit

To view the ‘5 Digital Rights’ Report visit


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