Government to develop a national Child Online Protection strategy
Despite computers and internet platforms reducing the entire world into a global village and their revolutionary innovation transformed human societies, the development has created an avenue where children could get exposed to content that was harmful to their social development
The Government is therefore developing sufficient policy and legal frameworks to address the challenges arising from cyber and other computer related crimes.
Speaking on Thursday during a Stakeholders Forum on the Development of a National Cop Framework for Kenya on the development of a national child-online protections strategy held at a Nairobi, hotel, Principal Secretary, Broadcasting and Telecommunications (PS), Sammy Itemere said the National Cyber Security Strategy has been developed to provide a national-level plan to defend and secure the country’s digital infrastructure.
“The strategy includes the development of information security management controls and procedures, cyber security systems, identity and access management systems, among other key areas”, he noted.
Itemere further said that wide and ease access of social media content has placed parents teachers and the government at in dilemma while protecting children from different forms of abuse.
“We have also set a Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre that advices on cyber security matters and coordinates response to cyber incidents in collaboration with relevant stakeholders,” he said
The PS said Kenya is experiencing a rapid growth in the use of ICT services a trend attributed to active government engagement with ICT stakeholders, sound policies and regulatory framework and a vibrant infrastructure through the National Fibre Optic Broadband.
The Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) Director General (DG), Francis Wangusi said that matters Child Online Protection (COP) could only be addressed effectively through effective collaboration.
“I am, therefore, encouraged by the immense positive response received from various stakeholders who have demonstrated their commitment to this process, noting that with the equal measure of benefits of the internet, there-in lay an equal measure of threats,” he noted.
Wangusi reiterated that it was time to seek ways to safeguard the young ones against an increasing trend of abusing the hitherto well-intended technology.
“Our children are our heritage. It is therefore my wish, just as all other parents, to see this young generation grow into responsible men and women, capable of steering this great nation to unprecedented height,” the DG noted.
Internet Statistics by GuardChild in collaboration with the University of Hampshire have given spine-chilling findings, including the fact that 70 percent of children aged 7 to 18 years have accidentally encountered online pornography, often through a web search while doing homework.
Another 90 percent of children in this age bracket have seen online pornography and that in as early as 2004 there were at least 3,433 child abuse domains online and the number that rapidly grew to reach 10,656 in 2006
The Authority in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) met today in order to facilitate critical process that would culminate into a National Strategy for Child Online Protection.
By Wangari Ndirangu/ Damaris Kiilu