Google South Africa will announce on Friday the launch of a local child safety initiative. The search giant says that it and its partners will create a safe cyberspace for children to engage with technology as well as empower parents and guardians with tools to help them choose what content their children see online.
Partners include the South African Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD), the Department of Communications, the Film and Publications Board (FPB), youth-based social network Mxit, Childline South Africa and UNICEF.
Google says that Friday’s launch is the first step in an ongoing online child safety campaign. And that in order for children to be able to continue enjoying the opportunities offered by the cyber-world, parents, teachers, caregivers and guardians must work together with children to educate them on how to navigate the internet safely. It cites sexual exploitation, cyberbullying and exposure to inappropriate content as some of the main dangers children can encounter online.
“With this campaign we will focus on empowering parents to help them choose what content their children see online. This will include protecting children online by using relevant child messaging systems; educating children on how to stay safe online and creating partnerships amongst concerned stakeholders on child protection,” said Luke McKend, Google SA Country manager.
The online safety campaign will be launched on Friday morning in Johannesburg. Other partners involved and presenting at the event include: Media Monitoring Africa, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Parent’s Corner. Lulu Xingwana, the minister for women, children and people with disabilities will deliver the keynote. More details to follow on Friday.