Knowledge gap fueling online child abuses

A huge knowledge gap among children on cyber space laws and cyber abuse reporting platforms is  fueling cases of online child abuse in the country, students say.

This was revealed during a panel discussion that was held at St Mary’s Girls Secondary School in Zomba district as a side event of the commemoration of the safer internet day which falls on February 11 annually.

The panelists, who were students from the school told YFM that they hardly know that the country has existing cyber space laws, which they said fuels cases of online child abuse.

“It is my first to hear that there are cyber space laws in the country,” said Viola Namondwe, one of the panelists.

“I have no knowledge that cyber space laws exist in the country and they are enforced,” said another student.

The students however, have called upon government and stakeholders who are challenging online child abuse to step their efforts in curbing the malpractice by among others raising awareness on the vice.

“If I am to put Malawi on a scale of 10, I would say we are at 1.5 in addressing the issues of cyber abuses, we hardly know about the laws neither the reporting channels whenever we have been abused which leaves us to die and suffer in silence,” said Namondwe.

He added: “Government need to put in deliberate efforts like conducting awareness campaigns to educate the masses on this.”

On its part, Youth Net and Counselling- YONECO which is an implementing partner of the initiative said it is working tirelessly to curb the malpractice.

Among others, YONECO’s ICT Officer Comfort Liwambano said their organization is working on a reporting application which does not require high level of computer literacy to improve the reporting mechanisms.

This year, the safer internet day is being commemorated under the theme a together for a better internet.

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