CAMPAIGNS KICK OFF TO BOOST INTERNET SAFETY OF CHILDREN
The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) and Lifeline Childline Zambia has kicked off the campaign to boost internet safety among children and adults in Eastern Province.
And Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), Manager Consumer Protection and Compliance Edgar Mlauzi wants to make sure that many people know that there is a safe route to call out illegal content if they see it online.
Mr. Mlauzi commended ZICTA for the support to mitigate the impact of child sexual abuse from internet and help make the internet a safer place for children and adults around the world.
“We are proud to join International efforts to create a safer world for our children through the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).The awareness campaigns we have launched today on the fight against child online protection demonstrate our commitment towards the well-being and safety of our children,” he said.
Mr Mlauzi was speaking during the stakeholder engagement meeting on Child Online Protection in Chadiza District.
He added that while the internet avails children the opportunity to discover new and engaging sources of knowledge, it is paramount that the children are safeguarded from internet users looking to exploit them.
“The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) portal has been critical in that it has provided a platform for Zambians to report images and videos of child sexual abuse when they spot them on the internet for take down,” he said.
Mr. Mlauzi urged citizens to report all online child sexual abuse cases to the portal for action or to call the Toll- Free numbers 116 or 7070 for lifeline-childline and ZICTA respectively for information.
Meanwhile, Chadiza District Commissioner George Phiri who officiated at the meeting indicated that the availability and penetration of e-platforms to a great extent has continued to affect social attitudes and community values between individuals.
Mr. Phiri observed that in as much as the social and electronic media platforms have been providing opportunities for all citizens, the growing availability of technologies and new internet services have tremendously exposed children and young people to increased online risks.
“ When browsing the internet, children do get exposed to illicit content such as pornography, as well as fall prey to child online dating, hate speech, violent content, and cyberbullying at an early age”, he said.
He further outlined some pieces of legislations set by government to protect citizens from cybercrimes such as the Cyber-security and Cyber-crime Act number 2 of 2021, the Data Protection Act number 3 of 2021; and The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act number 4 of 2021 which are all aimed at mitigating the risks that children face and also to ensure that all citizens including the children are protected online.
Mr. Phiri stated that the enactment of the legislations is aimed at creating confidence, security and trust in the cyber space as well as to the consumers and users of the e-platforms.