WINDHOEK, FEB 6 — Namibia will launch regulations for child care and protection legislation in March this year, Lucia Swartbooi, deputy minister of gender equality and child welfare, said on Tuesday.
Swartbooi made the announcement during the commemoration of the Safer Internet Day held in Windhoek.
The much-awaited regulations follow the enactment of the Child Care and Protection Act, as the country still draws on the old Children’s Act of 1960, the official said.
“The Ministry is at an advanced state with the crafting and finalization of the regulations for the Child Care and Protection Act as gazetted, and will be launched very soon,” she said.
“The regulations are also set to complement child online protection efforts in place as children become more vulnerable to sexual abuse, cyberbullying, extortion and trafficking on the internet,” Swartbooi added.
A recent United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) poll of young people from more than 160 countries revealed that 70.6 percent of young people aged 15 to 24 years online experience some form of violence, cyberbullying and digital harassment.
“Online proliferation comes with increased risks,” said Rachel Odede, UNICEF country representative, on Tuesday.
The Namibian government has since 2015 invested in strengthening the country’s capacity to safeguard the online experiences of young people and children through the leadership of the national Child Online Protection Task Force.
Namibia’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is also working on the development of the Electronic Transactions and Cybercrime Bill.
Namibia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the annual Safer Internet Day on Feb. 5 in Windhoek, held under the theme “Together for a better internet”. – XINHUA