The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has advocated the streamline efforts towards the strengthening of the implementation of laws and policies geared towards making the internet safer for children in Ghana.
According to the Commission, although Ghana had strengthened its legal and policy regime to address online child sexual exploitation and abuse (OCSEA), the rising number of online abuse and exploitation targeted at children was worrisome.
It therefore charged the government and other relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation, National Cyber Security Authority and the Data Protection Commission to sustain efforts and commitment towards the realisation of children’s rights in the digital environment.
This was contained in a statement signed and issued in Accra yesterday by Joseph Whittal, Commissioner of CHRAJ on the occasion of this year’s Day of the African Child.
The theme for this year’s commemoration, ‘The Rights of the Child in the Digital Environment,’ is focused on encouraging member states to ensure the protection and promotion of children’s rights in the digital environment.
The Commission further called on the government to consolidate the capacity of the workforce of law enforcement agencies like the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to facilitate investigations and gather evidence to prosecute criminals towards combatting online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
It entreated the government to work towards the realisation of Sustainable Development Goal 16.2 focused on protecting children from abuse, exploitation, trafficking and violence and to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
The statement said the internet had been a great tool for the development of children into global citizens as well as provided the opportunity to help realize the rights and freedoms of children such as the right to education, right to play, freedom of association freedom of expression among others.
However, it noted that, Ghana had seen a steady rise in the cases of online child sexual exploitation and abuse or abuse that was assisted by technology.
“A report from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children indicated that more than 13,000 images and videos of child sexual abuse were accessed or uploaded from Ghana in 2020.
A more recent survey by the Cyber Security Authority in February 2022, revealed that 2331 out of 3600 school children interviewed had received sexual content online with the same number of them having met a stranger they had first met online physically. Also, 1418 had experienced romance scam, 862 had been scammed and required to provide sex.
The DAC came into effect in 1991 through the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
This was in memory of students massacred and injured during the 16th of June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa who were marching in demand for quality education and the need to be taught in their languages
June 19, 2023