The Nigerian child needs improved and equal physical and online protection on the internet, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, Ndukwe Kalu Foundation Chairperson, says.
Ndukwe Kalu Foundation (NKF), a not-for-profit organisation that promotes knowledge in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and proper use of the internet among the youth, made the call as part of activities to mark Children’s Day 2022, held worldwide on May 27.
NKF says the exponential growth of technology has created tremendous opportunities for children and young people globally; as it enables them to learn, share, and communicate, expressing themselves freely without inhibition or borders.
According to Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) statistics, as of March 2022, Nigeria has 145.9 million Internet users out of 211.4 million.
With more subscribers having access to the Internet every day, the NKF Chairperson says it has become pertinent and necessary to address the technology in the lives of young Internet users, especially as groups actively involved in the SDGs 16.2 calls for an end to abuse, exploitation, violence and torture against children by 2030.
Mrs Odusote wants stakeholders to combine efforts to facilitate continuous awareness and protection campaigns to protect children online.
According to her, policies and other regulatory instruments should be accorded same level of priority to both the physical and online safety of children.
The NKF Board, Mrs Odusote says, has approved the Child Online Safety, Protection and Report Abuse (COSPRA) Mandate and “has identified among others collaborative ideas, signs and symptoms of online abuse through the use of internet and how best to deal with such situations; providing needed promotional awareness, guidance and support to children and affected young victims.”
To achieve the COSPRA mandate, NKF is planning three key events: first, Annual Online Child Safety and Protection Summit in collaboration with multi-stakeholder groups facilitating the exchange & circulation of information and preventive tools for best practices.
“Secondly, the NKF Chairperson says, “we are going to conduct ‘Train the Trainers’ Training Programme at the six (6) Geopolitical zones in Nigeria to increase safe practice awareness in schools; and thirdly Promote open discussion, debates, events, programs etc., during conversations with key multi-stakeholders and partners globally.”
According to the NKF Chairperson, COSPRA has the mandate “to ensure a safer and more secure online environment for children and youth; to participate in active campaigns between all stakeholders in knowledge and experience sharing; to encourage procedures for the improvement of legal regulations as well as self-regulation instruments towards Child Safety online, amongst others.”
NKF is positioned to promote safe activities on the internet and how issues affecting the lives of its young users and the digital environment are protected, Mrs Odusote says.
About the Ndukwe Kalu Foundation (NKF)
The Ndukwe Kalu Foundation (NKF) is a non-profit, non-political organization and special purpose vehicle established in April 2013 by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) as its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm with the sole purpose of driving developments in the technology space in memory of late Engr. Ndukwe Kalu – NiRA’s pioneer president who dedicated his life in driving Nigeria’s Information Technology.
NKF is headquartered in NiRA Office at Surulere, Lagos with seven appointed Board of Trustess (BoT) consisting of the Chairperson, President of NiRA, Secretary, and a member of the Ndukwe Kalu family and 3 other members of the public inaugurated to oversee the activities of the Foundation. NKF has provided relief support to children homes and other donations from its inception to date across the country.