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Faith Leaders Work to Prevent Online Child Violence

The key solution to prevent online child violence is by promoting religious values and ethics in children and young people and inculcating cultural wisdom in them. Only then can they have quality manners.” – Sh. Mohammed Swalihu, Imam, Jamia Mosque Nairobi.

Arigatou International Advisory Group Member, Sh. Ibrahim Asmanii Lethome, paid a courtesy call to Jamia Mosque Nairobi Administration on 31st January 2019 to advocate for a world free of online child violence. Jamia Mosque Imam, Sh. Mohammed Swalihu, Jamia Administrator, Mr. Said Abdallah were among the heads of department that attended the meeting.

The meeting sought to find sustainable solutions towards ending the increasing exploitation of children in the digital world. Members noted that with the increased access to internet, children and youth are empowered than any other generation before but at the same time exposed to exploitative and abusive sites online.

Members reiterated that denying children access to Internet is not the solution, but controlling or restricting what they view in their devices is key. They also took note of today’s children who feel neglected by their parents and caregivers because of a busy working life, thereby denying them the necessary nurturing. Due to lack of guidance and role models in their real world, children turn to the digital world to fill the gap, thus increasing their risks to sexual exploitation or even getting recruited into violent extremist groups. Parents and caregivers must therefore get more involved in their children’s lives, listening and spending more time with them.

Members also challenged professionals in the society to counsel and guide the children who are the future generation. “The country’s professionals should devise programs that seek to channel young people’s energy to peace and development rather than falling victims to online addiction,” noted Mr. Said Abdallah.

The need to prevent online child violence through promoting religious values and ethics in children and young people and inculcating cultural virtues in them was upheld. Members invited the world interfaith alliances to call to an end online exploitation and abuse of children through developing all-inclusive solutions for protecting children and youth from online exploitation and abuse.