HRH Princess Sofia's speech at the symposium Ctrl+Right
(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and gentlemen,
How can we make sure that children and youth not only survive, but thrive, in a digital world? Many of us ask ourselves that exact question.
In a short period of time, a handful of platforms became very popular, and they grew to become enormous. It all happened so fast and suddenly they were the ones mainly responsible for children’s safety online. It was never an active decision back then, it just happened.
The internet is not designed for children – but it has to be – knowing that so many children spend a big part of their childhood online.
Of course, no one wants to harm children but there is now undeniable evidence and a consensus around the fact that children and young people are being harmed online, probably right this minute. All over the world.
We have put our future generation at risk by failing to provide them with basic safety online.
We need to find new ways in order to fix this. I do believe we can do that.
When Prince Carl Philip and I founded our foundation, we did so based on a vision: that all children and young people should have the opportunity to be themselves. In so many ways, the internet is an enabler of just that!
The internet should be a place where you can be yourself. It should be a place where you can explore and build yourself - connecting with other people, finding information and inspiration. I love how the internet expands my world and the many silly and funny things the internet has to offer.
We all need to step forward and realize that we rely on each other to solve this issue.
We need to show vulnerability and from that build trust. We need to start talking to each other with one common goal in mind: to ensure safety and wellbeing online for our children.
So let’s start from that. Let this be the fuel to the change that we so desperately need.
Let’s make the future generations proud of us!