The internet never forgets. Nothing ever goes away once it is posted online. We believe that it is important for children to understand this and learn about staying safe, both in and out of the organization. It is crucial that they know how to stay safe in all environments including when they are online using the internet. Child Online Protection (COP) is a global challenge. Due to the rapid advancements in technology and society, and the borderless nature of the Internet, Child Online Protection needs to be agile and adaptive to be effective.
It is a collective responsibility to protect children from the harms that online risks may cause. Since this is a collective responsibility, we carried out a training on Child Online Protection (COP), engineered by the members of the Smart Children Club that was held on Saturday 13th November, 2021 in Lucky Summer, Ruaraka Nairobi- Kenya.
The children understood Child Online Protection (COP) as; the holistic approach to respond to all potential risks and harms children and young people may encounter online. Its impacts range from; protection of personal data and privacy, harassment and cyber bullying, harmful online content, grooming for sexual purposes to sexual abuse and exploitation. They were exposed to the fact that, different risks may need different approaches within a holistic framework; and a balance between the different rights of them as children, including their protection and participation.
The activity was impactful and methods used were effective and engaging for 72 children who were well taught on the benefits of technology, risks involved and their responsibilities while engaging online. The children were amazingly able to lead the conversation on their own on online safety, and at the end, they practiced their right of participation by making pledges and commitment they intend to abide by. We would like to convey our appreciation to Legal Sister, SheHacks Kenya, Lady Askari and Positive Circles for partnering with us on this timely project.
Just as children and young people are at the forefront of adopting to the new connected technologies together with the opportunities they bring, we are not oblivious to the fact that they are equally exposed to a range of content, contact and also contract risks online, some of which can easily result into potential harm both online and offline. We are thus, committed to esure that our children at Child Space Organization are e-smart.