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Nigeria works towards protecting children online with digital rights bill

In December 2017 The Nigerian House of Representatives passed the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill which aims to protect the rights of children in the digital arena.

According to Internet World Stats Nigeria has the largest number of Internet users in Africa and the seventh largest in the world. Olusola Teniola, the President of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria said there needs to be “clear laws and procedures in place that places the responsibilities of likely abuse and oversight in controlling the threats that unsupervised access to the internet may have on children within their human rights.”

The aims of the bill are detailed in its lengthy full title, “An Act to provide for the protection of human rights, to protect internet users in Nigeria from infringement of the fundamental freedoms and to guarantee application of human rights for users of digital platforms and/or digital media and for related matters”.

In response to the new bill Jimson Olufuye, the Chairman of Africa Information and Communication Technologies Alliance said, “It simply means that rights available offline also apply online and irresponsible posts online could attract judicial challenge. Freedom carries equal measure of responsibility.”

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist. She is also the Community Manager and Events Manager of Child in the City.

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