Child Online Africa (COA) extends its compliments to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for adopting General Comment No.25 (2021) on Children’s Rights in Relation to the Digital Environment.
We see digital safety and literacy as an essential element of children’s growth and development and we are excited about that the fact that for the first time in history, children’s digital experiences are acknowledged within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
While this historic moment puts a feather in the cap for all CSO’s, Child Online Protection Initiative Working Group Members, and other stakeholders working to protect children on the internet, we inclined to remind central governments across Africa to be guided by some pertinent issues contained in the recommendation. That;
– Meaningful access to digital technologies can empower children and support them to realize the full range of their civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights.
– States take robust legislative and administrative measures guided by the Safety By Design principles to protect children from harmful and misleading content online.
– Businesses should not profile or target children for commercial purposes on the basis of the children’s digital records.
As an organization working in the area, we are pleased to contribute to the General comment and we consider it as a tool that helps to promote international cooperation on online safety while creating harmonization on these issues particularly as threats to children’s safety online cross both national and international borders.
It is our hope that EVERY country in Africa will start implementing the principles in order to guarantee a trustworthy digital environment for African.
Awo Aidam Amenyah