Child Online Protection in Rwanda
“The Policy and Implementation plan acts as a model template for how COP ought to be done, for all nations, and places Rwanda as regional COP leaders – ensuring child online safety, and safety of all citizens, is paramount in developing ICT strategies. The Rwanda COP Policy provides an opportunity to influence neighbouring nations and the potential for neighbouring nations to also adopt a proactive attitude to online safety.”
End Violence Against Children, The Fund
Rwanda is committed to the roll out of ICT technology and ensuring that children and adolescents benefit from it. They wish to be a regional leader and have strong support from His Excellency Paul Kagame President of the Republic of Rwanda, who is Vice-Chair of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. In early 2018 Baroness Beeban Kidron, Founder and Chair of 5Rights Foundation, met with the Minister for ICT and discussed some of the underlying issues that comprise effective COP policy development, across all jurisdictions. Julia Davidson, Professor of Criminology (University of East London) was awarded a grant by End Violence Against Children, The Fund, in November 2018. Principal Investigator Professor Davidson, with co-lead Baroness Beeban Kidron (CEO & Founder, 5Rights Foundation) and partners from the University of Rwanda and Government of Rwanda, developed a National Child Online Protection Policy and Implementation Plan on behalf of the Government of Rwanda, Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT).
Professor Julia Davidson
Baroness Beeban Kidron
UK Expert Group
Rwandan Stakeholder Group
PROGRESS / UPDATES
Professor Davidson led an academic project to assess the Rwandan context in relation to the internet and ICT and sought to identify capability gaps in relation to child online protection (COP). Project partners also collaborated to convene a cross-sectoring expert group of Rwandan stakeholders and various UK high profile professionals, working within the field of internet safety. In addition, the project benefitted from detailed input from various consultants from the UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) Evidence Group. The project team delivered a policy in early 2019 and after a consultation period, in which a small number of changes were made, a final version was approved by cabinet. The “Rwanda Child Online Protection Policy” was formally adopted on June 25th 2019 and published on the Ministry of ICT and Innovation’s webpage. Alongside the Policy a detailed 5-Year Implementation Plan was delivered, with corresponding resources and bespoke training (delivered by Professor Julia Davidson, Baroness Kidron and Superintendent Wiley of Police Scotland), to build institutional knowledge and capacity in Rwanda. The full report has been published – see the publications page.