Unsupervised Children account for 25% of Kenya’s Internet Users, Highlighting importance of Online Safety



In August 2015, the Communications Authority of Kenya launched a campaign dubbed the “Be the Cop” which seeks to sensitize parents, guardians and teachers on the various types of crimes children are exposed to on the cyberspace.  The campaign seeks to protect children besides providing avenues for redress in the event of a cyber crime and was launched  in partnership with various stakeholders among them service providers Google, Orange, Airtel and Safaricom. The Department of Children Services, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Childline Kenya were also other partners involved in the project. While these efforts have achieved significant gain, a report by the Authority paints a worrying picture regarding online safety of children.

According to the report, unsupervised teenage children comprise of 25% of Kenya’s total internet users. The unprecedented access to the cyber space poses higher exposure to cybercrime, particularly due to the present uncontrolled nature of Internet access. The report quotes research conducted by UNICEF in 2013, which found that  42% of children and young adults between the ages of 12 and 17 years access the internet at least twice a week whilst 24% of them are online several times a day. The increased access also presents challenges of monitoring what is being consumed by unattended children.

CA is set to launch the second phase of the Child Online Protection Campaign, which will involve the implementation of strategic activities including legislative framework, capacity building, research, local and international cooperation as well as public awareness to develop skills and knowledge in this area.