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ASPBAE engages in C20 processes: Calling for safe education for all through digital technologies and data security

The Civil 20 (C20), under the Group of 20 (G20) Presidency of Indonesia, held its official Kick-Off Meeting on 7-8 March 2022 with a public event hosted in a hybrid format in person and virtually from Nusa Dua Bali, Indonesia. “The theme of the kick-off meeting is C20 Indonesia: Listening to the World, which aims to emphasise C20 demands to G20 leaders in listening to the needs of civil society across the world and developing more inclusive and adaptive policies post the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Ah Maftuchan, Sherpa of C20 Presidency of Indonesia.

The event brought together more than 100 civil society organisations (CSOs) across the globe and introduced its seven thematic groups, namely (i) Vaccine Access and Global Health (ii) Gender Equality (iii) Taxation and Sustainable Finance (iv) Environment, Climate Justice and Energy Transition (v) SDGs and Humanitarian (vi) Education, Digitalization, and Civic Space, and (vii) Anti-Corruption. ASPBAE is part of the Working Group on Education, Digitalization, and Civic Space.

In its recommendations, the working group highlighted the importance of accessing quality, inclusive, and safe education, where information and knowledge must be guaranteed, in line with strengthening infrastructure, including digital technologies and its other alternatives, ensuring data security and protection that is inclusive and safe, including for marginalised groups. Governments also need to strengthen global citizenship education by prioritising the values of empathy for others to eliminate discrimination, intolerance, violence, and abuse that happen in schools and in homes.

During a pandemic such as COVID-19, women and girls are usually the most socially and economically affected. Participants of the Gender Equality Working Group side event highlighted the pivotal role of breaking biases in the gender sphere. “C20 demands the G20 to establish a strong Policy and Services Mechanism for gender-based violence, particularly sexual violence, including the provision of quality, affordable, and comprehensive reproductive health facilities and services”, added Mike Verawati, Coordinator of Gender Equality Working Group of C20 Presidency of Indonesia.

The ’Education, Digitalization and Civic Space’ Thematic Group highlighted the importance of mainstreaming children and youth rights into G20 priorities. Gender-based violence related to child marriage, and issues related to child protection, especially as millions of schools remain closed, impacted the online learning needs of students. Those online were at risk of being targets of cyberbullying, online pornography, prostitution or trafficking for sexual purposes. Discussions at the side-event emphasised that children and youth voices, including those of girls, people with disabilities, and other marginalised groups should be well-heard and considered during policy formulation and implementation. With a prolonged pandemic, conflicts and wars, and climate crisis, children and youth rights should be mainstreamed into G20 priorities. 

ASPBAE participated in the Education, Digitalization and Civic Space Working Group’s breakout session, where the members and the participants discussed how the WG and C20 working processes as a whole can involve the entire network in an inclusive and democratic manner and steps and strategies to begin the engagement processes with the G20 and its Engagement Groups. ASPBAE volunteered to be part of the Education sub-Working Group’s Policy Pack drafting team.  

This article draws from information available here.