" ITREALMS: Safer Internet Day 2019: MAPinAfrica expresses dismay over rise in online pedophiles

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Friday, February 08, 2019

Safer Internet Day 2019: MAPinAfrica expresses dismay over rise in online pedophiles

Media Against Pedophiles in Africa (MAPinAfrica) has expressed dismay over the rise in online pedophiles across the continent, reports ITREALMS.

Speaking through MAPinAfrica co-Admin Faculty, Mr. Remmy Nweke, at the 2019 World Safer Internet Day, organized in Lagos by the Centre for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD), urged media practitioners to help save Africa, mostly those in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector among others.

He also said that media practitioners’ buy-in is very crucial so as to avail them with the requisite knowledge-base to educate the larger population on the continent with regards to the worrisome rise in the activities of pedophiles.

Pedophiles, Nweke pointed out, target children in poor countries for online abuse, outside the socio-cultural burdens with incentives, citing for instance that as far back as 2002, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 73 million boys and 150 million girls under the age of 18 years had experienced various forms of sexual violence.

While the Center for Disease Control and the US Department of Justice study an estimated 7.9 per cent of males and 19.7 per cent of females universally faced sexual abuse before the age of 18 years, with the highest prevalence rate of Child sexual abuse (CSA) was seen in Africa at 34.4 per cent.

He pointed out that with the increase in Internet access, that this percentage has advanced, emphasising that the United Kingdom (UK) National Crime Agency (NCA) recently said that children from developing and war-torn countries are being targeted by pedophiles using live-streaming and other tech advances and have paid over 33,000 Pounds Sterling as incentives.

On ensuring safer internet or online presence for children, Nweke also urged parents to take time out to know what their children are doing online and possibly create a separate account for them with some privacy settings to avoid undue downloads pornographic photos.

Parents, MAPinAfrica faculty said, should place computers in a common area and possibly keep the screen names anonymous to keep online predators away.

MAPinAfrica campaign, he said, is advocate for policies and programmes to help meet basic needs of children and families who are victims of pedophilia across the continent and factor in changing the narrative for better Africa.

The summit, with the theme ‘Together for a better internet’, unbundled the peculiarities of Nigerian internet space, bringing to light many issues engendering the commitment of attendees to work towards a better internet.

Other highlights at the summit include:

- Digital Inclusion for African women, to enhance their productivity.

- Health risks of prolonged internet usage, particularly to the neck, the eyes, and the fingers.

- Health benefits of Internet to users going to through depression, etc.

- eWaste from smart devices, with stakeholders advocating a policy that ensures that product manufacturers bear responsibility for proper eWaste disposal in Nigeria.

- Safety of public internet infrastructure and prosecution of those who vandalize them.

- Need for government to develop the technical know-how to find out data privacy breaches and hold Google, Facebook, and the likes to account, just like they are in the western world.

- Nigeria has the largest number of Internet users in Africa, government needs to pay more attention to how tech giants like Google and Facebook use the data of Nigerians, and violate international law; because today data is wealth.

- Telcos need to do more to enlighten the public on internet Safety, because they sell the internet data and directly benefit from 'online Nigeria'.

*Nenye Dom/Editor

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