Telcos pledge commitment to child online protection

The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and the GSMA on Wednesday 25th October 2017, organized the Ghana Child Online Protection Conference in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications under the Cyber Security Week 2017.

The Minister of Communications Ursula Owusu-Ekuful graced the occasion as mobile operators showed commitments to drive further discussion that guides the safe use of internet in Ghana.

Speaking at the Child Online Protection Conference in Accra on Wednesday, the Minister said sharing pornographic images is against the laws of Ghana, asking anyone who receives them to delete and not share.

She said, “We also quite happily share pornographic images of children when we get them with all our comments. It’s illegal, so please as soon as somebody sends you any such image delete it, don’t pass it on”.

The Minister noted that such images which are usually shared via social media remain online permanently and comes back to hurt the people in the video adding that many people lost some good job opportunities due to the things they shared online in the past.

She further commended the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications for putting together such an initiative under the Cyber Security week 2017.

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The conference aimed at acknowledging the benefits of ICTs while mitigating risks for children by imparting knowledge on started processes and laws for handling child sexual abuse material; providing capacity building support for delegates and a platform for collaborative national discussion towards building Ghana’s own Child Online Strategy.

Senior Policy Manager at the GSM Association, Africa (GSMA), Shola Sanni added that people who share images of children being abused are considered to be part of the perpetrators of such abuse even if they condemn the act as they share the images.
She noted that stakeholders are working on getting laws to punish child abusers.

She said, “these crimes against children in our online space are not adequately provided for in the legal framework. So that’s one area where countries such as Ghana want to look at and make sure that the laws are solid enough to punish and discourage offenders from perpetrating crime against children in the online space”.

Local and International partners like FacebookUNICEF GhanaMedia Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)J InitiativeCert-GhChild Helpline International and many others joined in the expert discussions.

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