The Minister of Communication, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah has challenged parents and guardians to take a keen interest in their wards internet activities.
He bemoaned the uncontrolled use of the internet by children and the risk it exposes them to.
Speaking at the commissioning of the National Steering Committee on Ghana’s Child Online Protection Initiative, Dr Omane Boamah said the ever revolving world of technology called for greater protection for children online.
“No single entity including families no matter how strong, powerful or how deep your pocket is can stand alone and ensure adequate child online protection,” adding, “we are better achievers when we work together.”
He also of the view that children should be schooled on how to use the internet, asking further, “how many of us started driving without being thought how to drive? And so why should we think that just by the kid having access to a phone, it means that the child is a master over what he is surveying on the mobile phone?”
Statistics from the UK-based National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children show that one in four children around the world has experienced something upsetting on a social networking site.
It is however unclear how many children and young people are affected by online abuse because many victims do not tell anyone because they feel ashamed or guilty or may not realized they are being abused.
According to the Dr Omane Boamah, the expansion of Ghana’s ICT industry comes with it “issues that affect our children.”
“More and more children are using the internet. Mobile technology is increasing, 4G is here with us, 5G is on the way. Smart phones are becoming much more available and for many children worldwide, there’s no clear distinction between online and offline.”
He has therefore tasked the newly commissioned Steering Committee to ensure that a mechanism is established and is widely promoted to provide a readily understood means for reporting illegal content found on the internet and have it removed or rendered inaccessible.
The National Steering Committee on Ghana’s Child Online Protection Initiative is to among others provide guidance and best practices on safe child online behavior and help partners develop and implement effective plans.
Head of the Committee Nene Nagai Kassa VIII who admitted their job was an enormous one, pledged their commitment at protecting the country’s children from online predators.
By: Eugenia Tenkorang/