The internet being a vast resource for education and communication that is accessible to many people globally, means that it has risks involved. With strategic tools and partnerships, we aim to educate parents and children alike on those risks, and the precautions to take in order to keep themselves safe on the online space.
The Internet is one of the most powerful communications and education tools ever invented and many people around the world are gaining access to it. Like with anything that powerful, there are some risks involved. Children are vulnerable and sometimes unknowingly get into dangerous situations that have detrimental effects on them.
The Communication Authority as the ICT regulator is authorized to protect consumers of ICT services, and this includes children. Keeping our children safe online is a collaborative effort from parents or guardians, the government, organizations that focus on children, among others.
The Authority has localized an initiative by The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the UN specialized agency for ICTs to protect children online. Through the Child Online Protection Awareness campaign, they have raised awareness of the risks children face online and have developed guidelines for children, parents, guardians, educators, industry, and policymakers.
To ensure that the campaign is effective, the Authority has partnered with various organizations including the Department of Children Services, The Cradle, Kenya Girl Guides Association, Kenya Scouts Association, Kenya Association of Professional Counselors, UNICEF, Google, Plan International, Terre de Hommes, Childline Kenya, GSMA and mobile service providers Orange, Airtel, and Safaricom.
What the Law says about Protecting Children
Article 29 (D) of the Kenya Constitution states that ‘Every person has the right to freedom and security which includes the right to not be subjected to torture in any manner, whether physical or psychological’.
The Constitution in Article 46 (C) on Consumer Protection states that ‘Consumers have the right to the protection of their health, safety, and economic interests’.
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 cyberspace.