Malawi launches online reporting portal to stop child abuse

The Minister of Gender, Children, disability and Social Welfare Dr Jean Kalirani launched the online child watch portal and Tithandizane helpline android application in Lilongwe on Thursday to protect children against online abuse.

The Tithandizane android application is able to trace the victim from the calling point and location while the online watch portal has the ability to remove any explicit photos of a child once uploaded on the internet through the Photo DNA network.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Kalirani said the two tools are very key in ending online child abuse including cyber-bullying in the country.

Dr Kalirani said it is very important for children to call for help once they feel intimidated, hence the systems will help to ease the challenges that they were encountering.

She urged guardians across the country to take a leading role in helping the children report such cases by allowing them access phones when they encounter any form of violence and want to report them.

In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi advised the public to embrace the systems and use them wisely so that they can richly benefit the country.

The tools will be operated by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) through Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) and regulated by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA).

The launch was alongside the commemoration of the International Child Helpline Day under the theme “inclusion and technology for children’s wellbeing’’.

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