CyberDodo and the Freedom of Expression (2-13)
No, each right is connected to a duty, which can be summarised by this famous sentence: "The freedom of each person stops or starts with that of the other".
If thoughts, beliefs or opinions should always be free, they need to be expressed with respect for other people and their dignity. This is why the Convention mentions, for example, "the rights of others" or "restrictions stipulated by national law ". This is to ensure that when anyone expresses themselves, this is not done to the detriment of anyone else.
It is evident that in such an area, no perfect system can exist, because in terms of sensitivity each person can have a different opinion about what is authorised, or not authorised. As a general rule, the freedom of expression is enshrined in the law so that it affects, for example, the protection of minors, racial discrimination, the incitation to commit an illegal act, or even religious beliefs, etc.
The full acknowledgement and respect for articles 13, 14 & 15 of the Convention should therefore always be priority objectives ; legislation can only restrict these rights where it concerns imperative matters linked to these same fundamental freedoms.
Internet and the freedom of expression!
Has the development of the Internet changed attitudes towards freedom of expression? Where information can be transmitted almost in real time from one end of the planet to the other and by anyone with connectivity, the answer to this question can only be yes.
Despite this, censorship by certain countries against certain content which is of no general interest (as described further up on this page), as well as the number of people not yet connected, shows that the Internet cannot guarantee that each person receives reliable information.
But the Internet only has advantages, isn’t that so?
Before the Internet revolution, the main media of expression and dissemination of ideas, apart from writing and correspondence between people, was the print media. The publication of books was an activity reserved for a restricted number of people who therefore controlled the contents made available to people ; this control was, however, similar to censorship or misinformation.
Today, any inhabitant of this planet with an internet connection can become an "Editor of contents", with the risks that this represents in terms of the reliability of the information conveyed. In numerous countries, immense strides were taken for freedom of expression, but these should also be accompanied by increased caution.
Everything that is on the Internet is not true or useful… It is good to be able to write … on the Internet!
Long live the freedom of conscience, opinion and expression, whilst respecting all …
To see the cartoon on freedom of expression, click here
To see the quiz, click here
For the game, click here.
© CyberDodo Productions Ltd.
What does the Convention say?
Article 13 – Children have the right to freely express their opinions. To receive and spread information and ideas. So long as it does not impinge on other peoples’ rights.
Article 14 – Children have freedom of thought, conscience and religion. With respect for parental guidance and the restrictions set out by national law.
Article 15 – Children have the right to freedom of association and peaceful meetings. So long as this does not affect other peoples’ rights.
The fact of being able to think freely, to believe in what you want, to express your ideas, your opinions, to listen to that of others, to exchange with them, etc., seems perfectly normal to alot of people throughout the world.
However, only recently in the history of mankind were these freedoms legally recognised for the first time in 1789, in the American Constitution and the French Delcaration of Human and Citizens Rights.
Can we then conclude that things are getting better everywhere?
Sadly, more than 2 centuries after the adoption of these basic texts, there are various places throughout the world where these rights are not always respected or even recognised, despite the fact that they are explicitly mentioned in the Convention. This is why the CyberDodo team, in collaboration with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for the script, conceived and developed the episode associated with this case file.
It establishes an imaginary country in which children (And adults as well…) are not authorised to freely express their opinion and ideas, in violation of the text of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child signed by this country.
This is why, in his capacity as the Universal Ambassador of the Convention, with no preconceptions regarding race, religion, nationality, sex, social or political level, CyberDodo gets involved and helps ensure that articles 13, 14 and 15 are respected forthwith. This is the message of episode no. 13 and an example to be followed throughout the planet.