In line with the global UNICEF advocacy campaign for Protecting children online, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigeria, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has inaugurated the National Committee on the Development of a Unified National Strategy on Child Online Protection (COP) in Nigeria.
The committee has members drawn from the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; Federal Ministry of Justice; Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC); National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP); Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON); Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN); and Network Against Scam and Cyber Crime.
The move aimed at developing a National Strategy on Child Online Protection (COP) in Nigeria is in alignment with global best practices as identified by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in a recent policy brief and guidelines issued in 2020.
Recall last month, ITU reported that the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated risk factors and increased the incidence of violence experienced by children. At the same time, children and youths are turning more to online sources for support.
To address this growing need, international organizations and experts in child online protection have formed a multi-stakeholder group aiming to better understand how children and young people are using the Internet as a means of access to safety and protection.
“With more and more children connected every day, we have to understand how children can access support and protection online,” says Najat Maalla Mjid, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Violence Against Children.
Although millions of boys and girls worldwide have relied on the internet to play, socialize and learn during the COVID-19 pandemic, time online can also expose them to online sexual exploitation, cyberbullying and other risks, the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.
Business Remarks also reported that Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in partnership with the Cece Yara Foundation has continued to educate parents and caregivers on safety tips for protecting children online.