First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has advocated for enhanced protection of children and the youth from harmful online content that exposes them to vices such as cyberbullying, addiction, racism, sexual harassment, and online fraud.

“These are risks and challenges that will require our concerted efforts through advocacy, raising of awareness and regulation to protect consumers, especially children, the youth and vulnerable communities,” the First Lady said.

At the same time, the First Lady acknowledged the vast and growing importance of online platforms in service delivery especially during the current restrictive Covid-19 pandemic.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta spoke on Thursday at the Communications Authority of Kenya office complex in Nairobi County where she presided over the launch of the second phase of the National Child Online Protection (COP) campaign dubbed, “Huwezi Tucheza: Tuko Cyber -Smart”.

The multimedia campaign seeks to inform and empower children and the youth with skills and information on how to use internet in a productive manner as well as enable them to stay safe online.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta commended the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, and the Communications Authority of Kenya for demonstrating commitment to their roles as regulators by protecting Kenyans from harmful content.

She expressed optimism that the advocacy campaign will empower the youth to be able to make better online choices thereby developing them into upright and productive citizens.

“This new focus intends to provide our children with the knowledge that will protect them against increasing exposure to the risks and vulnerabilities in the cyberspace,” the First Lady said.

Speaking at the launch, Chief Justice Martha Koome urged all relevant players in the legislative process to hasten the enactment of the proposed Children’s Bill 2021, saying it has important clauses on the protection of children against online exploitation.

“This was not in the Children’s Act because it was not a reality in 2001 when the children’s Act was enacted. Therefore it is necessary for us to move with speed and enact the Children’s Bill 2021,” the Chief Justice said.

She thanked the First Lady for being an ardent champion and defender of children rights and welfare.

ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru assured the First Lady of his ministry’s commitment to tame runaway societal moral decline brought about by the internet particularly its negative impact on children.

“Technology can be a good servant but it is an especially bad master. Let us tame technology so that we can use it for the good of society, so that it becomes our servant and not our master,” CS Mucheru said.

Other speakers included Information and Broadcasting Principal Secretary Esther Koimett, Communications Authority of Kenya Chairman Kembi Gitura and Acting Director-General Mercy Wanjau.