Through digital tools, democratisation processes have become accessible in new ways to more people, while also shutting others out. The digitalisation of life has placed digital environments at the core of an increasing part of people’s lives. Young people have been significantly affected by this trend, as the ones who typically use and integrate digital technologies at the fastest. Digital tools, including artificial intelligence (AI) systems, open up opportunities for young people but also raise challenges such as behaviour tracking and discrimination due to possible algorithmic bias and poor quality data sets. Equally challenging is the lack of access of certain groups of young people to digital tools and services (the so-called “digital divide”).

  1. States must ensure accessibility and free access to Internet and technology, including services to support the development of digital skills, to all young people. Access concerns equally infrastructure, costs of the services and competences.

  2. Formal and non-formal education need to deal with digital citizenship and AI literacy; curricula and educational resources need to be developed to this end.

  3. Digital citizenship education opportunities need to be made available in offline activities, alongside online offers, emphasising learning-by-doing approaches.

  4. Youth organisations must be encouraged and supported to carry out education and awareness-raising programmes on digitalisation issues (including technical awareness) to ensure that young people can reflect critically and make informed decisions.

  5. Ways for youth work to engage on AI literacy and governance should be promoted, including funding for co-operation between youth workers and IT specialists.

  6. Legal standards and instruments should be put in place to regulate the design, development and use of AI systems according to the values of human rights and democracy, and be based on an equal access to digital development.

  7. Young people should have a clear role in decision-making on AI and Internet governance, including in processes of regulation development and monitoring.

  8. Youth networks, or similar, should be set up to monitor and report the usage of AI systems and their impact on young people’s access to rights.

  9. Public digital platforms that allow for regular dialogue, learning and networking between young people and decision-makers should be created.

  10. Online discrimination, racism and hate speech remain a reality for too many young people and must be combated and removed by bringing media platforms and perpetrators to account; educational resources must be promoted for awareness-raising and prevention.

  11. Transparent and comprehensive policies must be promoted for young people to make informed choices regarding anonymity, data protection and confidentiality.

  12. States must implement fully the Council of Europe’s recommendations on standards for e-voting, with a focus on the creation of tools for meaningful youth participation, such as e‑voting, e-counselling, and e-participation.