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ChildFund Seeks To Help Make Digital Space Safe For Children

MoU with African Union to protect children from abuse and exploitation online

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As internet penetration deepens in African economies, online exploitation and abuse of children are raising concern among stakeholders. Concerned at how digital technology is exposing children to risks, ChildFund International and the African Union Commission (AUC) are mobilizing the private and public sectors to help create a safe online environment.

ChildFund is leading the push for policies and laws to curb online sexual exploitation and abuse of children through an MoU signed recently with AUC at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Under the agreement, the two organizations will work together to advocate for AU member states to establish legal frameworks and legislative instruments for protection and advancement of children’s rights online.

Amb. Minata Samaté Cessouma – the AU Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development – said AUC seeks to counter the growing negative influence of online exploitation and abuse of children across Africa.

ChildFund Africa Regional Director Chege Ngugi, said while increased access to the internet has had several benefits for children such as access to education opportunities and health information, it has exposed them to more dangers online. Parents, teachers, governments, policymakers, tech companies, regulators, law enforcement agencies and children must work together if we are to make substantial progress,” said Mr Ngugi.

ChildFund and the AU will also mobilize international and regional public and private partners to rally behind the call to end online exploitation and abuse of children, including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Further, they will sensitize various organs and committees of the African Union – such as the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) – to promote and protect children’s rights online. This will facilitate and coordinate the development of an adaptable framework on ending online exploitation and abuse of children, including creating a continental platform for knowledge exchange.

ChildFund says it will work to ensure that the voices of children, civil society organizations, communities and all other stakeholders are included in efforts to end online sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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