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Boost education and media literacy both at home and at school – Kaheru

Comment on the Commemoration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information

As we commemorate the international day for universal access to information, we recognize the impact of today’s digital or online space.

The online sphere has created opportunities for entrepreneurship, job creation, and financial inclusion. E-commerce, freelance work, and online education thrive on the internet.

Online spaces continue to play a pivotal role in promoting civic engagement and holding leaders to account. Citizens voice their opinions, and demand transparency from the government.

But at the same time, this digital era has incited misinformation, digital insecurity, and access disparities. Children today are vulnerable to inappropriate online content; hate speech is being fueled by the anonymity of the internet; mental health resulting from cyber bullying is increasing; online fake news, misinformation and disinformation has captured the power to poison minds, divide communities, and incite real-world violence.

We therefore must boost education and media literacy both at-home and at-school. This way, we empower young people to evaluate online content. To discern between reliable and unreliable sources. To understand the consequences of hate speech. This way, we will be nurturing a generation of responsible digital citizens. Ultimately we will successfully balance the right to access information with the right to privacy.

Crispin Kaheru
Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC)

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