Child Protection: A Look at Some Internet Regulations

Children using computer

Conference paper and presentation by Dr Elizabeth Achinewhu-Nworgu, Helen Nworgu and Julie Nworgu presented at III ICEST Conference, Nigeria, December 2016.

ABSTRACT: As a result of the rapid increase in technological development and the widespread use of computer-based communication and information sharing via the internet, regulation relating to child protection has become a serious issue of concern. This concern is shared across many countries around the world, including those in Africa. But the issue of child protection seems to have gained more attention in the Western countries than in other parts of the world. Despite its many benefits, however, evidence from research suggests that the internet has become the ‘new medium’ through which some commonly recognised forms of child abuse such as maltreatment, sexual and emotional abuse occur. This has impacted negatively on children’s education. This paper examines the internet regulation for child protection. It discusses the role of educational institutions, regulatory measures and legislation relating to child protection with particular reference to internet-mediated communication. The paper draws on the perceptions of teachers and parents and legislative measures introduced by the European Commission in preventing children from the internet abuse. The paper employs a small-scale research to explore parents’ and teachers’ views about children’s use of the Internet in classrooms and at home. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations and measures aimed at tackling the incidence of internet abuse and leaves us with a question to address’ To what extent are Nigerian education institutions protecting children from the internet abuse?