On June 22nd, 2024, the 5th Children’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF) convened young people to discuss “The Internet We Want,” setting the stage for the Kenya IGF on June 27th in Laikipia County.

75 students participated in group discussions, sharing their perspectives on internet safety and responsible use. A key theme emerged: the importance of parental involvement in creating a safe online environment. Children voiced their desire for a collaborative approach with parents, suggesting initiatives like “Internet Safety Days” for shared learning.

The forum emphasized the critical role of children in shaping the digital future. Their voices are essential in crafting policies that ensure a safe, inclusive, and supportive online space. By including children in decision-making, we can develop policies that reflect their needs and aspirations, fostering a more responsible digital world.

Focus on Parental Supervision

Lively group discussions at the Children’s IGF highlighted the importance of parental supervision in online safety. Students shared personal stories and suggestions, advocating for a collaborative approach to internet safety education.

Urgent Need for Online Safety Education

Discussions with educators revealed a concerning rise in Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE). Teachers shared alarming statistics and emphasized the need for increased awareness and education. Robust training programs for students and parents, along with integrated school curriculum modules, were identified as crucial steps to address this issue.

Sign Language for Digital Inclusion

A groundbreaking session on online safety at the IGF focused on incorporating sign language into safety discussions. This commitment to digital inclusivity ensures that everyone can fully participate in the digital world. This approach sets a precedent for future discussions, advocating for a more inclusive and empowered online experience for all.

Kenya Children IGF is organized by Watoto Watch Network, in collaboration with KICTANet. This forum provides a platform for children to share their perspectives and experiences regarding Internet use and safety.

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