Rights of the child in the digital environment

The overall objective of the Day of the African Child (DAC) 2023 is to raise awareness of child rights in the digital environment and encourage the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Member States and other relevant stakeholders to work towards their achievement.

The promotion of the rights of children in the digital environment entails making the Internet accessible to all children. Lack of internet access remains a primary challenge to children meaningfully participating in the digital sphere. We believe every child should be loved and protected.

Since any violation is a barrier to reaching the child's full potential, we focus on protection above all other aspects of development. Compassion International Kenya (CIK) has played a role in promoting and protecting the digital rights of children and youth in our programs, most of whom are from remote and marginalized communities. Most children in our programs struggle with internet access.

Compassion participants dancing with the chief guest, Justice Teresia Matheka, at the DAC celebrations in Busia.

To level the playing field between them and their urban counterparts, CIK has endeavoured to make technology more accessible. We have availed computers, laptops, and tablets to children/ youth in remote areas to support learning. During the Covid-19 period, CIK provided over 350 learning gadgets to children in schools, enabling them to keep learning. We also helped caregivers acquire phones to receive cash transfers to support their families.

CIK has partnered with over 120 churches and digital learning firms like MwalimuPLUS to roll out an intelligent e-tutoring solution providing self-paced online learning for children at different school levels. We facilitated the construction of 130 child and youth resource centres equipped with desktop computers and laptops children could use for general learning and school research/projects.

Biometric systems were rolled out across the centres, enhancing the protection of children in our program centres and during their movement to and from home. The biometric system relays information to caregivers on when their children arrive and leave the program centre.

Compassion participants performing at the at the DAC 2023 celebrations in Busia.

These digital platforms have enabled marginalized children to achieve their dreams in education and acquire professional skills. They have economically empowered them and their families and created a foundation for future stronger/enlightened communities. The effort to keep children safe online continues to be a priority.

Sustaining these gains requires the concerted effort of government, law enforcement agencies and other Civil Society Organisations (COS) in creating awareness and implementing the local and international laws that protect children from all forms of online violation.

Compassion International Kenya website

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