Postal & Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has supported the launch of Child Online Protection Guidelines by Childline Zimbabwe aiming to insulate children from vulnerabilities they are exposed to online.
In a speech read on his behalf by Head Consumer Affairs and Publicity George Manyaya, POTRAZ Director General, Dr Gift Machengete said even though internet has brought convenient owing to rapid digital transformation, it has also brought a number of challenges as it exposes children to various vulnerabilities.
“Whilst internet has brought about convenient owing to rapid digital transformation, it has also brought aboit a plethora of challenges. Children are exposed to various vulnerabilities and there has been an increase in the misuse of technology.”
He further added that, due to Covid 19 many children were provided with gadgets to access internet for e-learning but they are now accessing various sites that has nothing to do with learning without their parents or guardian consent.
“Furthermore, the Covid 19 has validated the role that ICTs play in our day to day lives and more than ever before, children are using the internet socially and for e-learning services.
“We are providing these gadgets to children but they are accessing sites like tinder, house party, Instagram, Facebook and Tik tok even without their parents’ consent.”
Internet has transformed how we live and it is entirely integrated into the lives of children and young people, making it impossible to consider the digital or physical worlds separately.
According to UNICEF, about one third of internet users today are children and young people and about 71 percent of them are already online.