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Women Leadership Development – WLEDE

Day of African Child: Ensuring Safe Access to Digital Space

June 16, 2023      

On June 16, 1971 more than 20,000 South African students in the township of Soweto took to the streets demanding to be taught in their own language. Armed police officers responded by murdering hundreds of protesters. Now recognized as International Day of the African Child throughout the world. The day focuses attention on the barriers African children face in order to receive a quality education. Let us observe this day together and pay our respects to past students who gave their lives to their community by helping students today reach their goals on the basis of their African Heritage.

This year it shall be celebrated under the theme: ‘The Right of the Child in the Digital Environment’. Data from the Global Development Commons (GDC) shows that one in three internet users worldwide is a child (a person under the age of 18) and that one in three children have access to the internet.

The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) has noted that as of May 2022, there were about 590 million users (43 percent internet penetration) in Africa. It said the figures included children, who represent a third of all internet users in the world, and are increasingly exposed to the virtual environment.This situation raises questions about how to protect children online and what steps governments should take to solve the major problems. The African Children’s Charter stipulates that the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of the child also imply the fulfilment of duties by all relevant stakeholders. Women Leadership Development (WLEDE) calls on all critical stakeholders, to ensure that all children have equal and effective access to the digital environment in ways that are meaningful for them.