In line with the global UNICEF advocacy campaign for Protecting children online, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, 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 were drawn from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Others are the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the 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.
WikkiTimes gathered that children are spending more time online through computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, and televisions, children learn, imagine and develop their social networks. When used in the right way – and accessible to all – the internet has the potential to broaden horizons and ignite creativity the world over.
But with these opportunities come serious risks. Cyberbullying and other forms of peer-to-peer violence can affect young people each time they log in to social media or instant messaging platforms. When browsing the internet, children may be exposed to hate speech and violent content – including messages that incite self-harm and even suicide.
Children can also be put at risk when tech companies breach their privacy to collect data for marketing purposes. Child-targeted marketing through apps can compromise a child’s healthy development.