The government of Kenya through the Communications Authority is coming up with a child online protection strategy to protect children from online vices which are rampant and easily accessible to them.
According to a research carried out by the Guard Child in collaboration with the University of Hampshire the spine-chilling findings read that,
- That 70% of our children aged 7 to 18 years have accidentally encountered online pornography, often through a web search while doing homework
- That 90% 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 number that rapidly grew to reach 10,656 in 2006
“This worrying situation is not different locally. According to a recent COP survey carried out by the Authority, there was equally great concern among our teenagers regarding their safety online. Surprisingly, our children did indicate that their precarious actions online are driven by the pressure and desire to belong, which is characterized by large online following thus the temptation to be lured into committing various on-line vices,” said CA Director General Francis Wangusi.
Wangusi was talking at the recent launch of the COP strategy at the Intercontinental Hotel where he added that the Authority’s first step was to launch the COP Awareness Campaign in 2014. The campaign focused on promoting safe surfing and creating awareness on child-online abuse. This event, therefore, marks our second step of this journey, whose objective is to deliver a National Strategy for COP for Kenya.
The process of making the COP strategy will be guided by experts from the International Telecommunication Union which came up with their strategy in 2008
Children in Kenya now have more access to the internet with this being attributed to the reduction of the cost of smartphones and the deployment of mobile broadband by the Mobile Network Operators. It is now easier for the kids to stream or download videos and content that could previously not be accessed easily through feature phones and low Internet speeds.