Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra), in partnership with International Telecommunications Union (ITU), has embarked on the Child Online Protection (COP) training of trainers to equip stakeholders with the necessary knowledge and skills to train others on how to protect children from online risks and harm.
The trainings will also be conducted in Blantyre and Mzuzu.
Broadcasting Manager at Macra, Matilda Kanjeri said during the opening of the training in Lilongwe on Monday that the influence that digital technologies have on lives especially children and young adults is unparalleled.
“This exposure also comes with harm, the anonymous nature of internet allows for misrepresentations and manipulations which puts children and young adults at risk because of their easy trusting nature,” she said.
According to Kanjeri, Malawi as a country has seen a surge in Cyber bullying, harassment, misinformation and the spread of fake news.
She disclosed that children and young adults have been exposed to a wide range of explicit, hateful, sexual and harmful content making them more vulnerable to exploitation.
ITU Senior Coordinator, Carla Cicciardelo said the situation on child exploitation is very bad globally including Malawi.
“It is estimated that children are abused on a daily basis through electronic means thereby a need to intervene now,” she said.
Cicciardelo said young people should be engaged in discussions and have them be part of the overall strategy to protect them online.