Safaricom marked the annual Safer Internet Day with an event where they pledged to continue efforts to protect children online.

The event, which was held in collaboration with the Communications Authority (CA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), GSM Association (GSMA) and African Telecommunications Union (ATU) among others, sought to raise awareness about the opportunities presented by the internet as an enabler, but at the same time address the risks faced by young users.

Alvan Kimani (left) from Farasi lane primary school Carol Wanja(center)Cheleta primary school and Agnes Danita(right)Farasi Lane

According to Sanda Ojiambo,  Head of Corporate Responsibility at Safaricom “We see the internet as a resource that all children should have access to, safely. Ensuring the safety of young internet users means encouraging them, and their parents, to adopt what we’re calling the 4Rs: Respect, Responsibility, Reasoning and Resilience. In this way, they can tap into the opportunities provided by the internet, while at the same time learning how to identify and deal with the risks associated with being online including cyber-bullying, radicalization and exposure to inappropriate content.”

Safaricom, together with Telkom Kenya, Jamii Telecom and Airtel Kenya, signed the Kenya Child Online Protection Industry Charter in November 2018. The Kenyan telcos committed to enhancing the safety of children on the internet. Additionally, Safaricom has integrated the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) into its operations, working closely with UNICEF, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and Save the Children to protect the rights of children in the workplace, the marketplace and the community.

Larry Asego (far left) Ted Josiah Music Producer, Ellyanne Wanjiku Founder Children with nature, Lisa Kurbiel Chief Communications, Partnership and Advocacy, UNICEF

“As a result of our work with various partners, we have also drafted a Safaricom Child Online Safety Policy, whose objectives are to help consumers understand the rights of children online; to create awareness on the various risks that children face while online and to equip children, parents, caregivers and guardians with online safety tips. Additionally, we are working with Internet Watch Foundation to identify and block websites that target young users with inappropriate content from our network, and have partnered with the Communications Authority on Be The Cop, a child online protection initiative,” said Ms. Ojiambo.