PRETORIA-- Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana has left for Greece at the head of a delegation from the South African Film and Publication Board (FPB) to participate in the International Association of Internet Hotlines (InHope) Annual General Assembly in Crete.

The focus of the InHope meeting is consistent with Pretoria's attempt to ensure that minors are protected from accessing inappropriate and harmful content. This has now become a matter of both national and international interest.

It is common cause that children are seen to be more impressionable, less critical and therefore more vulnerable than adults, they have little experience and consequently insufficiently developed frames of reference to guide their judgment. It has become increasingly important to protect children in light of increased access to television, internet, videos and mobile devices, Kekana said at the weekend.

InHope was founded in 1999 under the European Union (EU) Safer Internet Action Plan. As of December 2016, InHope has 48 members across the world, supporting them in responding to reports of illegal content (child sexual abuse material).

All members of InHope must have the support of their national government, internet industry and law enforcement, and they must offer effective transparent procedures for dealing with complaints. The FPB was accepted as a member in 2011, and today South Africa is the only country in Africa which has been accepted into the InHope community.

The InHope Foundation assists countries to develop hotlines and to become a member of the InHope community. In its expansion strategy, the foundation has identified Africa as a key content for expansion continent, and the FPB has been identified as the gateway to the rest of Africa.

To this end, the FPB is committed working closely with the foundation to expand on existing relationships on the continent to assist in establishing more hotlines.


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