Baroness Kidron is a long-term advocate for children. Having left school at an early age, she has always had one eye on ensuring that children have the skills and opportunity to participate in society creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly. 

In 2006, following a conversation in which she learnt teenage boys were turning away from reading, Kidron co-founded the education charity Into Film (previously FilmClub), which uses film to educate and inspire. Starting with just three schools in 2006, Into Film now engages with over two thirds of schools in the UK offering a wide programme of film clubs, special cinema screenings, and resources and training to support classroom teaching.

Kidron’s Ted Talk, The Shared Wonder of Film, viewed over a million times, describes film’s power to activate children’s curiosity and critical thinking, to illustrate the shared experience of being human, and to create communality across divides.

In 2012, the smart phone hit a price point at which adults began to give them to children. As a filmmaker, Kidron became curious about the impact of technology on childhood. 

“As I looked at a roomful of silent children prodding at their phones, I wondered what it meant to grow up here and somewhere else simultaneously.”

Her documentary, InRealLife was a life-changing catalyst for her campaign work.

In 2013, after trying for many months to get “anyone” interested in the fate of children online and being greeted with a level of disinterest and ignorance, Kidron published 5Rights Framework.

“They thought I was a middle-aged woman who didn’t ‘get’ the new ‘rock and roll’. I thought it was a generation injustice.”

The 5Rights Framework described how children’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should manifest in the digital environment. Now superseded by a formal treaty document (General Comment 25), the 5Rights served as manifesto for radical change, it called upon tech companies to redesign their services to be rights-respecting and age appropriate by design and by default.  

The 5Rights personify the approach and focus of Kidron’s campaigning. They were drafted following broad consultation with academics, NGOs, parliamentarians and a handful of tech employees who preferred not to be named. Crucially, through imaginative, deliberative workshops, Kidron ensured children’s voices were central to the final framework.  

In 2018, Baroness Kidron founded 5Rights Foundation with a mission to build the digital world children and young people deserve. 5Rights Foundation has grown to have a global influence with a team that is spread over 5 countries. 

As Chair of 5Rights Foundation, Baroness Kidron chaired the drafting committee that supported the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in drafting General Comment no. 25 on Children’s Rights in Relation to the Digital Environment. The General Comment was formally adopted in March 2021 and stands as the most comprehensive articulation of the duties of states to children in the digital world. The 196 states party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) will have to report on its provisions.  

Under Baroness Kidron’s leadership, the 5Rights Foundation has pioneered a range of international policies and programmes, such as developing a Child Online Protection Policy for the Government of Rwanda; creating a Global Model for Child Online Protection; and working in partnership with IEEE to create the IEEE 2089™-2021 – Standard for Age Appropriate Digital Services Framework – Based on the 5Rights Principles.

In 2020, Baroness Kidron and Professor Sonia Livingstone (LSE) launched a joint research project the Digital Futures Commission (DFC). After a successful three-year project undertaken with the support of Lego, BBC, Sesame Street and a host of academic institutions, the DFC has been reformed as the Digital Futures for Children, a joint research centre of 5Rights and LSE. 

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