By Patrick Jaramogi
Kampala, Uganda: The amount of content that children can browse from the internet will soon be regulated, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) boss has disclosed.
Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi, the Executive Director said UCC was devising means through which they can limit the content children access while browsing the Web. He made these remarks during the celebrations of the Safer Internet Day at their head offices in Bugolobi.
Safer Internet Day (SID) has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar. The day that is marked every February tries to discuss internet issues that range from cyber bullying to social networking.
Each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns.
Safer Internet Day (SID) is an annual, worldwide event. This year’s (2019) theme: ‘Together for a better internet’ encourages individuals to create a better internet by developing four, critical skills’.
Eng. Mutabazi was reacting to the presentations of data from officials from the Uganda Child Rights NGO Network (UCRNN), showing a continuous increase of cyber harassment of children on the World Wide Web (www).
According to the data, in 2016, UCRNN received only eight cases of harassment (both cyber and non-cyber) but in 2018 the figure dramatically grew to 158.
Stella Ayo-Odongo, the Executive Director of UCRNN said the number of children who are facing cyber harassment could be higher since very few report to them.
“Cases of online harassment are many, children are engaging in sexual relationships at an early age, and they are silently dying,”she said.
Godfrey Mutabazi said most parents have bought phones for the children and thus they (kids) are able to access pornographic content away from their parents’ attention.
“Without strong laws and systems to protect children from such content, things could soon get out of hand.
“Parents have bought gadgets like smartphones for their children, but the dangers are real, we need to find solutions now,” he said.