• April 15, 2024
  • Last Update April 14, 2024 9:48 PM
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Government launches sensitization forums on Online Child Exploitation

Government launches sensitization forums on Online Child Exploitation

Kiambu,

Friday March 22,2024

KNA by Sylvia Wanjohi

The Safe community Linkages for Internet Child Safety (CLICS) Project will spend Sh 115 million to keep an estimated 200,000 children safe from online predators.

According to Disrupting Harm in Kenya research conducted in seven Eastern and Southern African Countries including Kenya, many incidents of Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA) go undisclosed and formally unreported and approximately one-third of the children surveyed who had been subjected to OCSEA had told nobody.

Against this backdrop, the Directorate of Children Services (DCS) held a one-day sensitization forum for Kiambu County Stakeholders on Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA).

The workshop sought to disseminate the OCSEA training manual for social service workforce and the standard operating procedures to the stakeholders to prevent online child exploitation in Kiambu.

David Mariba, Safe Community Linkages for Internet Child Safety (CLICS) Project officer at Child Fund Kenya said the workshop is aimed at building the capacity of the Kiambu stakeholders on identifying and responding to OCSEA cases in the community.

In partnership with the DCS, Safe CLICS will target the social service providers of Kikuyu sub county where the OCSEA cases are rampant.

“After looking at the statistics on reported online cases within Kiambu County, Child fund Kenya is working to train specifically service providers within Kikuyu Sub County because the majority of these cases are coming from that sub county.” Mariba said.

He explained they have been implementing Safety (CLICS) project in Kiambu, Nairobi, Kilifi, and Mombasa counties to strengthen capacity, networks, and systems from the national to the grassroots level to make the internet safe for children in the country.

With the help of the Kiambu County Coordinator Children services, Child fund is also in the process of identifying a Trainer of Trainers (TOT) in the Social Service workforce to cascade the OCSEA message to the Sub County level.

County Executive Committee Member of Education, Gender, Culture and Social Services Ms. Nancy Gichung’wa urged all stakeholders not to tire with the initiative but instead protect the children.

“Our Children are our future, and we must protect them. We cannot get tired as parents and as stakeholders,” she said. Ms. Gichung’wa assured participants of the commitment of the executive in addressing children’s issues and implementing measures to protect vulnerable children from abuse.

The Director of Child Online Protection Judy Oduor said the department is working closely with the Kiambu County Co-Coordinator Children Services, Kiambu Police and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution in Kiambu to deal with OCSEA cases legally.

“There is a legal framework which guides us on how to deal with OCSEA cases that have been reported,” Director Oduor said.

Child Fund Kenya’s Safe CLICS project will address key gaps by increasing OCSEA awareness, building children’s and youth’s online safety skills, improving service providers , schools’, communities’, parents’ and caregivers’ abilities to detect and respond to OCSEA, strengthening Kenya’s national framework and improving interagency coordination.

The Anti Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit (AHTCPU) of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations alone handled 3,160 OCSEA cases in 2018 and 4,133 in 2019.

These are the reported numbers and do not provide a complete picture of OCSEA prevalence.

Courtesy; KNA

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