ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr.Fred Matiang’i launches the Child Online Protection (COP) campaign at the Kenya Primary Heads Association (KEPSHA) annual conference in Mombasa. 

The Communications Authority of Kenya has launched a child online campaign in efforts to secure children from harmful content on the cyber space.

The initiative, launched by ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i at the Kenya Primary School Heads Association (KEPSHA) annual conference in Mombasa, will see a series of activities aimed at educating the general public on the need to keep children secure from unsuitable information on the internet.

Dr. Matiang’i said even though the internet has provided immense opportunities, children are in danger of accessing material not suitable for their well being such as pornography, violent shows, racism, as well as being lured into terror gangs. He said there was need to reach out to parents and teachers with the knowledge and skills on the use of Internet in order to provide child online protection.

‘‘There is reason for all of us to get concerned with the growing trends in cyber and other computer related crime. Other than coming up with innovative ways to deal with cybercrime, we need to join hands in creating awareness on safe use of Internet facilities,’’ said Dr. Matiang’i.

As a means of tackling cyber crime, the Government has already developed a national cyber security strategy and put up the Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre (KE-CIRT/CC), a focal point for reporting all cyber related incidents. This multi-agency outfit is domiciled at the Communications Authority of Kenya.

 CA DG Francis Wangusi said the technological revolution has widened platforms for accessing the internet, further increasing the vulnerability of children being subjected to cyber bullying, online sexual harassment, exposure to sexually explicit materials and online stalking, among other abuses.

‘‘While many of our children access Internet through mobile devices, the vulnerability is bound to rise even as we increase access through laptops and computers in our learning institutions,’’ said Mr. Wangusi.

The campaign dubbed, ‘Be the COP’ is drawn from international guidelines published by International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The first phase of the campaign involves media campaigns across all media platforms, while the second phase, entails a follow up on the progress of the campaign in primary and secondary schools across the country through outreach activities with school ICT clubs, public lectures and motivational talks.