YONECO strengthens child protection platforms

Youth Net and Counselling Organisation (YONECO) has urged people to report issues of online child sexual abuse, cyber bullying and any other form of abuse that might be encountered during this period of COVID-19 pandemic.

The call comes amid fears that children, who are currently stuck at their respective homes due to CONVID-19 pandemic, are likely to be exposed to various unsuitable online materials including pornography.

Acting ICT and Helpline Services Manager for YONECO, Moses Msukwa, said as a child rights organization, in collaboration with different stakeholders, they have put in place measure to ensure that children are safe while they are online.

Msukwa said: “What we are seeing now is that people including children are spending more of their time on internet and this makes children to get exposed to a lot of people and they become vulnerable and exposed to materials such as child pornography.”

He said some of the measures YONECO has come up with include Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) portal which is a platform where people can report issues to do with child pornography in line with videos or pictures and cyber bulling.

“All these can be reported on IWF portal and then they will be taken down making the internet safer for the children,” he emphasized.

Msukwa further mentioned other platforms that can be used which include toll free lines of Tithandizane National Child Helpline (116) and 5600 which is for Gender Based Violence (GBV).

YONECO is implementing the initiatives in collaboration with different stakeholders including the Ministry of Gender and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA).

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