Charter for Child Online Protection in Cameroon, A Near Reality

Minister Minette Libom Li Likeng defended the draft law of the charter for child online protection in Cameroon at the National Assembly on June 12th, 2023. 
On June 12th, 2023, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng appeared before the Cultural Affairs Commission, Social and Family Responsibility at the National Assembly to defend the draft law on the charter of child online protection in Cameroon by explaining the importance and mechanisms used to ensure the effectiveness of the said law if voted. 
This action comes on the hills of the uncontrolled use of social media which seems more and more disturbing particularly amongst youths. For sure, they are counted as the most active and present in the cyberspace but at the same time the most exposed to the risks of social media whose source is the internet. These dangers comprise of intimidations, nude pictures and videos, fake news, suicide tendencies or attitudes, just to name a few. These acts of cybercriminality meted on children are becoming vulgar representing a threat to the security and safety of users of the internet and by extension social media. It is a great relief that the government is taking actions to reinforce the powers that be in the decision making of protecting children online. 
Going by the Minister’s explanation after her encounter with the commission, this action is spurred by the Head of State’s instruction to the Government in his address to the Nation on December 31st, 2022 and also his declaration on the occasion of the 57th Youth day celebration to draw up a charter aimed at guaranteeing the protection of children on the internet. This instruction brought to the table, her Ministerial Department and other administrations for a quick reflection and elaboration of the said draft law. “The law will give the opportunity to the government to have an instrument that can help to prevent and possibly eradicate all forms of abuse on children online”, the Minister said. “At the time when digital economy is developing so quickly with our children always connected, it is wise to put in place an environment where the children can study and get entertained online in a secured manner ”, she added. 
It is worth mentioning that, other than the charter in view, MINPOSTEL had put in place other mechanisms and activities that have been indirectly favoring the protection and the rights of children in the use of social media such as sensitization programs to educate children of the opportunities and risks of the internet, the organization of ICT Holiday Camps on annual basis for children of the rural and semi-urban areas, empowering youths in ICT to better use the internet, train peer educators in schools to help their mates within their scope of influence.