Children's Safety Online in Uganda
Given the shift to online teaching during Covid-19, Encrypt Uganda with the support of the DHRLab have conducted a research study on children’s safety online and provide guidance to enhance their safety.Tagged: Human Rights Work Guides
As part of the organization’s ‘Children’s Online Safety Project’, Encrypt Uganda sought to understand the state of children’s safety online in Northern and Eastern Uganda as they navigate the dramatic change to online learning. The research study aimed to learn experiences of children, parents/guardians, teachers and schools during the rise of e-learning specifically in regard to children’s safety online. The researchers achieved this by examining the preparedness of stakeholders, how they are adapting to the technology, and assessing the various threats and harm faced by children as a result of the online learning. Selected key findings include:
- 30 percent of the children interviewed reported suffering abuse and threats online.
- There is a high illiteracy level on children’s safety online among the children, teachers and parents/guardians.
- 71 percent of children believe online studies are helpful in bridging the learning gap.
- Many children did not receive tips on how to use the internet safely.
- The majority of the children note that their parents were supportive towards online studies.
- 76 percent noted that they have never participated or heard of any awareness campaign on children’s safety online.
- Children do not feel safe online while attending to online studies.
- A significant number of schools do not have any rules in place on children’s safety online.
- The government has not put in place necessary measures to protect children during online studies.
- Several schools are moving to integrate cyber security module in their curriculums.
This study report uses the findings from the research to provide strategic guidance to children, parents/guardians, teachers, schools, and the government of Uganda in promoting children’s safety as they increasingly engage in online learning. It identifies the key issues of concern and sets out a recommended strategy for stakeholders aimed at enhancing children’s safety online. The recommended strategies include:
- Invest in digital equipment for all children
- Ensure all devices are set up safely
- Use parental control software, privacy settings
- Talk about staying safe
- Increase awareness of teachers and children on the important tips for children’s safety online