SAFER INTERNET DAY: GHANA TO MAKE LAWS TO PROTECT KIDS AGAINST CYBER ABUSES – DEPUTY GENDER MINISTER
February 6, 2019 9:50 am
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has disclosed that it is in the process of coming up with a legislation to protect children against internet abuses.
According to the ministry, the increased rate of kidnapping in recent times has been facilitated by the internet.
Speaking at the Safer Internet Day celebration on the theme “Together for a better internet”, the Deputy Gender Minister, Hon. Gifty Twum Ampofo said the legislation will create a congenial environment for children in the internet space.
“The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in this call to action is to make sure that a conducive policy and legislative environment created for children found in the virtual space. We are currently leading the process towards the total overhaul of child related legislations in the country. We are identifying, through consultative processes with relevant stakeholders the legislative gaps in the laws relating to children in Ghana, make definitive proposals for their amendment”, The Hon. Deputy Minister said.
Hon. Gifty Ampofo also said the Ministry has already engaged other relevant stakeholders who are joining forces to ensure that the lives of children who use the internet are not threatened.
“The Ministry is partnering with other key stakeholders such as Child Online Africa, NCCE, Media Foundation for West Africa, UNICEF, Plan International and others to do more advocacy on the safer and better use of the internet in all the regions in the country and also when parents and caregivers should be able to supervise their children on the internet. Children will be safer and live in an environment free of abuses, she said.”
On his part, Deputy Minister of Communications, Vincent Sowah Odoitei also revealed that Ghana has agreed to two major conventions on cyber-security as part of efforts to building confidence and security in the use of Information Communication Technology.
“Government has acceded to two major Conventions on Cyber security; The Budapest Convention and Malabo Convention. These conventions are to ensure collaboration with other countries in tackling cyber crime which knows no geographic limitations. We have also established a National Cyber Security Centre where suspected incidents can be reported and adequately dealt with.”
“Efforts are being made to identify legislation and policy gap between existing legal frameworks and international child online protection framework to incorporate issues that will seek to protect and prevent children and young people form Online Children Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCEA), he added.
In 2018, the Ministry of Communications through the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) launched Ghana’s National Cyber security Awareness Programme as part of national efforts to raise awareness on cyber crimes and the need to improve Ghana’s Security readiness among public, children, businesses and government.
The National Cyber security Awareness Programme under the theme – A Safer Digital Ghana is designed to be implemented over a five-year period (2019-2024).
As children continue to use the internet for learning, communication and entertainment, safeguarding children and young people from cyber-bullying, online grooming and circulation of inappropriate images has become critical
Efforts are however being made to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the roles in helping to create a better and safer online community.