Friday, 01 March

Safer Internet Day 2021 targets child online protection

Africa Safer Internet Day is on Feb. 9 every year

This year’s Africa Safer Internet Day celebration is aimed at discussing how children are protected online, while they use web platforms.

Especially in this COVID-19 era, Africa Safer Internet Day is a day set aside to discuss how to make the web a safe place for everyone especially, children.

This year’s celebration, dubbed “Positioning and Partnering for Child Online Protection” would be observed across Africa with the objective of helping child-focused organizations tackle and approach Child Online Protection issues holistically without having to prioritise one risk over another;  ensure a better online environment is created for all especially, children and young people and also to foster a culture of Child Online Protection with relevant stakeholders backed by policies including the children themselves.

The Africa Safer Internet Day is held on February 9 every year.

During the Virtual launch ceremony, Executive Director of Child Online Africa, Awo Aidam Amenya, said, “The 2021 celebration is keener because of our present situation, taking into cognizance the effects of COVID-19 on the world. Our lives have moved from physical spaces to virtual ones with the students having to do mostly online classes and workers now having to telework and hold online meetings”.

“Country-specific programme of activities, she shared, would be both virtual and physical including but not limited to safer internet day digital skills experience; Safer Internet Day lessons with Sango, the Mascot; supply of free educational resources and also socially distanced safer internet day,” a statement issued on 2 February 2021 noted.

Key themes that will be covered during the flash capacity building presentations on Tuesday will focus on stakeholder involvement, Child Online Protection in practice, tips for parents on Child Online Protection, tips for School Management Committees, legislative regime for effective Child Online Protection, the Role of research in Child Online Protection, among other areas.

Madam Amenya also called on governments across Africa to make a conscientious effort to partner various online protection agencies to ensure the internet is a safer place for all especially children guided by the New Child Online Protection Guidelines launched by the International Telecommunications Union in 2020.

 “As the Safer Internet Day Committee for Ghana and one of the Child Online Protection Implementation Partners, we are more than happy to be working with the African theme since it will afford all countries in Africa to team up in order to make things happen for the African Child,” she stated.

The Africa Safer Internet Day is expected to contribute to information and knowledge sharing on Child Online Protection best practices, from governance to basic skills/tips and is expected to bring Child Protection stakeholders, both local and international, together towards securing that African Child is safe online.