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Protect Children From Online – Samira Bawumia

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The Second Lady, Hajia Samira Bawumia, has called for a collaborative effort to protect children from online predators.

Addressing stakeholders on the second day of the National Week celebration of the 2019 Cyber Security Awareness Month at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in Accra, she said a UNICEF research done in 2016 shows that four out of 10 children had seen sexual images, and half of the 2000 children used in the survey expressed online abuse by adults.

She, therefore, called on government, parents, educators, civil society organisations and international development partners to come up with policies and legislations to protect young internet users.

“Parents have to be abreast with the use of the internet in order to guide their children on its usage as their children mostly knew more than them,” she advised.

Hajia Samira further commended the Ministry of Communications for initiating channels whereby victims, who feared reporting to the police, could report to seek redress.

Inappropriate Internet Content

Responding, the Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said Ghana would soon criminalize the sharing of inappropriate social media content, adding that everybody should comply with the domestic laws, when passed, to avoid being penalized.

She hinted that there would be sufficient provision in the law to protect children/adolescents from online abuse.

The Ministry, she indicated, is working with the Attorney General, and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, among others, to come-up with the framework on child online development and welfare within the shortest possible time.

According to the minister, most children had become active users of the internet for learning, but are unfortunately faced with a lot of human rights challenges, hence the need to protect them.

Government, she said, had increased awareness among children across all the regions and by the end of October, 40 schools would have been reached.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful lamented that most of the laws of Ghana were enacted before child online protection came up, and stressed that the cyber security policy would be reviewed to meet international standards. She subsequently called on corporate bodies to support government since it was a collective duty to protect the children.

Cyber Security At Risk Management

In an opening remark, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, Director-General of the Criminal Investigative Department (CID), noted that, the proliferation of cyber-attacks is causing increasing damage to companies, governments and individuals, which in turn dwindles the country, financially.

She underscored the need for a multi-stakeholder approach to come up with a very effective implementation of the cyber security programmes.

She further seized the opportunity to call on participants to come together as one to improve stakeholder collaboration as well as partner with each other in order to achieve the objective of the workshop.

Dubbed: “Demonstrating Ghana’s Cyber Security Readiness,” the programme brought together security agencies, heads of departments, school children and others to discuss Child Online Protection (COP) and develop a framework to curb the risk posed to young people for using the internet

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