On Thursday September 24, we hosted Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) as they talked about their new child online protection campaign dubbed ‘Be the Cop’. The campaign which was launched in August this year, seeks to protect children from vulnerabilities that they are faced with online.
The Panelists were Mr. Christopher Wambua, the Ag. Director in charge of Consumer and Public Affairs at (CA), Ms. Caroline Murianki the Assistant Manager Consumer Education and Outreach in the Consumer and Public Affairs Department (CA), Mr. Joseph Nzano CA’s Assistant Manager/IT (E-security) and Ms. Mercy Chege the Executive Director at Childline Kenya.
With the anticipated free laptop project in Kenya, parents and society needs to ensure children are safe online. Most children are now technologically savvy and they should be guided on safe internet use. The children’s Act No. 8 of 2001 makes provision for parental responsibility, fostering, adoption, custody, maintenance, guardianship, care and protection of children. This provision extends to protecting children in the cyber space.
Children are exposed to different online crimes like cyber bullying, identity theft and online fraud using minors, child pornography and even internet addiction.
The gathering brought together bloggers and stakeholders in the ICT field, together with stakeholders from the children rights department. Some of the organizations represented were Childline Kenya, Code IP trust, Simba Safe Kenya, Airtel, The CRADLE, and CRALAF among others.
We also have a Teens Online Safety program running during the school holidays. We held the first workshop this August where we trained teens and parents on safety online. Some of these organizations also run school programs to sensitize public schools on online safety.
Childline Kenya also has a toll free line, 116 where parents and children can seek help with regards to child abuse including abuse on online platforms.
The conversations for this event online were under the hashtag #BeTheCopKe and generated a lot of participation.
CA is the ICT regulator mandated with protection of consumers of Information Communication and Technology services. This includes children, which is why they have come up with the program.