Kenya’s first lady, Margaret Kenyatta has called for the enhanced protection of children and the youth, from exposure to harmful content online that result in vices such as addiction, cyber bullying, online fraud, sexual harassment and racism.
“These are risks and challenges that will require our concerted efforts through advocacy, raising of awareness and regulation to protect consumers, especially children, the youth and vulnerable communities,” the First Lady said.
She recognized the positive influence that online platforms had contributed to the society, giving people a leeway especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first lady was speaking on Thursday during the launch of the second phase of the national Child Online Protection (COP) campaign dubbed, “Huwezi Tucheza: Tuko Cyber -Smart” at the Communications Authority of Kenya.
Through the campaign, CA seeks to empower and inform young people of positive and productive ways of using the internet, as well as help them stay safe online.
The first lady further lauded the Ministry of ICT and the CA for their commitment to helping the public from harmful online content. She expressed optimism that the youth would gain from the aadvocacy, and make better online choices which in turn would help them grow up as upright, product citizens.
“This new focus intends to provide our children with the knowledge that will protect them against increasing exposure to the risks and vulnerabilities in the cyberspace,” the First Lady said.
Chief Justice Martha Koome, who was also at the event urged the relevant parties involved in the enactment of the proposed Children’s bill 2021, to hasten the process as the bill contained important clauses to help children against online exploitation.
“This was not in the Children’s Act because it was not a reality in 2001 when the children’s Act was enacted. Therefore it is necessary for us to move with speed and enact the Children’s Bill 2021,” the Chief Justice said.
Ms.Koome recognized and thanked the first lady for her efforts in championing and defending children’s rights.
Cabinet Secretary for ICT Joe Mucheru promised the first lady that his ministry would endeavour to put a stop to the moral decline brought about by the negative impact of the internet particularly on children.
“Technology can be a good servant but it is an especially bad master. Let us tame technology so that we can use it for the good of society, so that it becomes our servant and not our master,” CS Mucheru said.
Other speakers present at the event were Information and Broadcasting Principal Secretary Esther Koimett, Communications Authority of Kenya Chairman Kembi Gitura and Acting Director-General Mercy Wanjau.