In the digital kids, some children have their own smartphones by the time they turn 10 years. The age goes high or lower depending on the geographical area and social class of which the child belongs to. Cyber bullying, exposure, looming predators are just some of the dangers awaiting kids in the online space.
“More than a third of young people in countries report being cyberbullied, with 1 in 5 skipping school because of it. Some 80% of children in 25 countries report feeling in danger of sexual abuse or exploitation online,” UNICEF for every child. The effects of this early exposure has led to some children and youth alike to end their lives.
The Communication Authority of Kenya has shared new guidelines on SIM card registrations for minors. Parents will now be expected to provide identity of children using smartphones while registering their SIM cards, under the new proposed internet safety guidelines released last week by the authority for public debate.
“Mobile service providers in the development of age-verification mechanism ensure that all SIM cards that are used by children/minors shall be registered,” read part of the guidelines.
If the guideline is enforced parents or providers who go against the directive might be fined Ksh.300,000 or sentenced to 6 months in prison if not both. The protection of our minors is the responsibility of all!