Child online protection charter in Cameroon : Stakeholders Reflect on Action Plan for Effective Implementation

The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications presided at the opening ceremony of a three day preliminary reflection workshop with view, the implementation of the project of the National Action Plan for the Protection of Children online on Wednesday 2, November, 2023 in the conference hall of her ministerial department

Protecting children online is of utmost importance when we talk about the responsible use of social media and internet considering that youths are the most vulnerable group of people in the use of ICT. They are exposed to bullying, kidnapping, obscene pictures, threats and what have you.

It is in this light that MINPOSTEL opted for a child online protection charter that was ratified by the President of the Republic on July 25th, 2023.

To define and build implementation strategies for the action plan as well as figure out the next step for an effective implementation, Minette Libom Li Likeng on Wednesday 2nd, November 2023, presided over the opening ceremony of a reflection workshop with stakeholders in the domain of child protection online.

During her introductory speech, the Director of Networks and Security, Mrs  Bityebiya’a Evina Pierrette unfolded the circumstances and methodology adopted to arrive at the reflection stage. Other than the convening of meetings with stakeholders, the project experienced an initialization stage, execution of the contract and working with the consultant, proofreading of the draft law by the MINPOSTEL inter-ministerial committee, onward transmission to the Prime Minister’s office and finally to the Presidency. In perspective, the DSR promised a diligent follow up of the project; “this working group will be particularly responsible for monitoring the consultant who will be appointed for the development of the action plan proper”. She said

The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications on her part while opening the workshop, defined the pertinence , stakes, opportunities and challenges of ICT in our society in general and to youths in particular. According to the Minister, this plan of action which covers youths up to the age of 18 years is based on a participatory approach comprised of the government, civil society, private sector, competent organizations, startups and many others.

She reveals that four fundamental pillars constitute the project; sensitization and education, the legislation and regulation, technologies and tools not leaving out partnership and collaboration.

The Minister presented the project as one that will protect children online, guide electronic communication operators on their content destined to the different categories of users, sanctions for  the frequent use of pornographic sites and most importantly capacity building programs for children on the secured access to internet from the primary level of education.

While wishing that the recommendations will lead to concrete solutions to the problem, the Minister equally solicited for the collaboration of all for an outstanding success of the project. “In the work of protecting children in the digital world, many challenges must be met. And it is together: the State, digital operators and organizations and civil society that we can act in a coordinated manner.” she Concluded.

In this regard, the main themes that were debated upon and exchanged over amongst others focused on; challenges and strategies for online child protection, the regulatory, legal and institutional framework in Cameroon, the techniques and methods for monitoring and evaluating the National Action Plan.