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Mobile Industry to enhance online child protection

The government and mobile operators have signed a child protection charter.

Child Online Protection (COP) charter aims at ensuring a safe online environment for children while using mobile services.

This follows many cases of exposure of children to cybercrimes because of easy access to the internet.

Speaking Tuesday during the launch of the Group Special Mobile Association (GSMA) “we care campaign”, Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi said the signing of the COP Charter would create awareness and enhance the protection of children.

The Charter in the country is the first ever ‘We Care’ initiative deployed in Africa and is backed by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

“CAK fully supports the COP Charter. This partnership will enable us to collaboratively work towards creating awareness and enhancing online child protection amongst the public,” said Wangusi who was represented by Ag. Director of Consumer and Public Affairs Christopher Wambua.

Wangusi said under the agreement, the mobile industry would work together with the regulator to foster a culture of safe and responsible use of the internet and other ICTs via education and awareness programmes.

GSMA Head of Sub-Saharan Africa Akinwale Goodluck said that the partnership would foster a culture of safe and responsible use of the internet.

He added that this would be done through educational and awareness programmes and integrating children’s rights considerations into corporate policies and management processes.

Akinwale explained that measures to actualize the programme would include providing capacity building workshops for authorities tasked with enabling support hotline for young citizens seeking information or emergency assistance on online safe matters.

As part of the awareness campaign, Akinwale further said the operators would collaborate with CA to produce a booklet targeted at young people in Kenya to be promoted in events such as the music and drama festivals focusing on online safety.

“By signing the COP Charter, the mobile industry is demonstrating its commitment in working together to provide a safer and more reliable online experience for the country’s children,” said Akinwale.

The ‘We Care initiative’ will focus mainly on promoting digital inclusion, ensuring the protection of children, caring for the environment, responding to disaster and contributing to public safety.

Airtel, Jamii telecommunication, Safaricom and Telkom signed the new COP charter.

By Kishengo Gathigia

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