For the past four days, from 14th to 17th March 2023, KICTANet has been attending a stakeholders engagement workshop convened by the Kenya National Bureau of Standards (KNBS) and the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). Stakeholders drawn from the private sector, civil society and government departments that work on child online protection shared their expertise ahead of a planned national survey.
The survey questions are divided into four modules for children aged 9-17 years who use the internet, parents of children aged 9-17, teachers, and internet service providers (ISPs). The first three modules will be conducted on a sample of the national population, while the ISPs will be conducted by way of a census.
During the deliberations, KICTANet raised the following issues:
- There needs to be sound data protection practices during the data collection stage. Accordingly, it was resolved that consent from both parents and guardians, and children, must be obtained during the data collection phase;
- That children’s views should be taken into consideration during all stages of the survey. As such, stakeholders called for the preparation of a simplified report for children at the dissemination stage of key findings from the survey;
- There is a need for an assessment of whether the children, at the time of opening their social media accounts, were assisted by their parents, and if not, whether they were subject to an age verification process;
- Establish whether children are accessing adult content online;
- Include children with disabilities as far as possible in the data collection and analysis phase of the survey;
- Find out what are the experiences of children and guardians when attempting to access justice for child online abuse; and
- Capture recommendations from children on how content online is regulated and how child online abuse incidents are handled.
KICTANet will continue to engage with the CA and KNBS in the survey by offering its expertise on internet governance and best practices for online safety.
Angela Minayo is the Women Digital Rights Programs Officer at KICTANet. She is passionate about the inclusion of women and minorities in internet governance policy discussions.