The Ministry of Communications to support the efforts of the CID- Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP)

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service in collaboration with the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have inaugurated a model child protection forensic lab at the CID headquarters in Accra on Thursday, 27th April, 2020.

The aim of the laboratory is to assist the CID to combat child online pornography and offer digital forensic services to assist investigations. Funded by the CID and the UNICEF, the digital forensic laboratory will serve as investigative needs for children and young people.

A speech delivered by the National Cyber Security Advisor, Dr. Albert Antwi- Boasiako on behalf of the Minister for Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP) at the ceremony disclosed that, with a global increase in the reliance on the digital infrastructure and information technology, children and young people form a significant percentage of users of information technology.

According to her, the era of COVID-19 has led to the increase in the use of technology by governments, corporate entities, individuals including children and young people. COVID-19 has also led to more children and young people spending time online and utilizing the internet to educate themselves, learn and interact. In a cause of this, they are exposed to sexual images and bullying online which has a negative effect on their lives, therefore, the essence of the establishment of the laboratory.

Touching on the steps the government has taken to strengthen the legislative regime in place for child online protection (COP), Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful made it known that the Ministry of Communications through the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and various stakeholders of Ministry of Gender, Children and Social, Protection, UNICEF-Ghana, Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, have revised the existing national COP frame work to incorporate the newly launched 2020 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) COP guidelines which will produce a comprehensive national framework on child online protection to protect children and the youth activities online.

“Considering the significant progress being made in the area of child online protection, I believe the Model Child Protection Digital Forensic Lab will serve as a great instrument in providing an integrated response in the fight against cybercrime, as the issue of cybercrime and cybersecurity needs to be addressed using an extensive 360 approach”, she said.

She finally announced that the Ministry of Communications through the National Cyber Security Centre will continue to support the CID in the collective effort to sanitize Ghana’s cyberspace which includes provision of the needed support and guidance required for the effective operationalization of the Model Child Protection Digital Forensics Laboratory.

The ceremony was graced by the Hon. Minister for Interior, the Inspector General of Police, the Director –General of the Criminal Investigation Department, members of the Police Management, Rep. from the United States Embassy and Rep. from UNICEF-Ghana.