MACRA calls for participation in making internet safe for youth

The Malawi Communications and Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has called upon stakeholders in Malawi to participate in making internet safe and secure for young adults and children.

MACRA said this on Tuesday which was Safer Internet Day.

The regulatory body said a multi-stakeholder approach is imperative in the fight against cybercrimes, particularly online child abuse and exploitation, in order to build a well-informed nation.

It further stipulated that over years, the development and emergence of new technologies has made the production, distribution and proliferation of online child sexual abuse material easier for perpetrators

“MACRA joins the global call for child online safety with human rights experts flagging the need to tackle online child sexual abuses,” the regulatory body said.

MACRA in its statement also raised concern on the digital divide that exist between Malawi and developing countries.

“According to ITU in 104 countries, more than 80% of the youth population are online. In developed countries, 94% of young people aged 15-24 use internet compared to 67% in developing countries. And out of 830 million of young people who are online, 320 million 39% are in China and India while 9 out of 10 individuals not using internet, live in Africa.

“We need an empowering, inclusive and safe internet for all children in Malawi wherever they are,” the body said.

Safer Internet Day is an annual celebration which is commemorated globally to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children, young people and national conversation.

This year’s Safer Internet Day was under the theme: “Together for a better Internet” which aims at raising awareness on emerging online issues and concerns from cyber bullying to social media usage and abuses.

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