The Ugandan government has made a decisive move to protect young individuals from the harmful effects of online pornography, predators, and offensive social media content.
Information Minister, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, confirmed the government’s plan to block all pornographic websites.
This action follows a request from Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, who expressed concerns about the exposure of children to inappropriate information at an early age.
During a high-level policy makers engagement on financing for young people organized by the Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children (UPFC) in Kampala, Mr Tayebwa emphasized the need for regulations to prevent children from accessing adult content online.
Comparing with Muslim countries where pornography is blocked, he highlighted the detrimental impact of pornography on society and the potential economic losses associated with its presence.
Mr Tayebwa directed the Minister of Youth and Children Affairs to collaborate with other ministries, including ICT and National Guidance, to learn from successful approaches used in Muslim countries to block pornographic sites for underage children.
The distribution of erotic and sexually explicit content through the internet characterizes pornography websites.
The Deputy Speaker also emphasized the importance of community involvement in raising children, harkening back to African cultural beliefs.
State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Sarah Nyirabashitsi Mateke, expressed concern over the insufficient funding allocated to her ministry.
She cited the example of receiving only Shs20m for street children in the current financial year, which amounts to a mere Shs5 million per quarter.
Margaret Makhoha, Chairperson of UPFC, highlighted the lack of a dedicated budget for child protection in Uganda.
Instead, allocations are dispersed across various programs and activities within different government departments and agencies.
This fragmented approach poses challenges in establishing a coherent and integrated child protection system, as well as hindering the development of management information systems for child protection.
Makhoha urged sector players to prioritize children’s issues in the country, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding their well-being.
Dr Baryomunsi acknowledged the Deputy Speaker’s request to block pornography sites, assuring that it will be seriously considered.