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Child Protection Digital Forensic Lab inaugurated

BY: Augustina Tawiah
Mr Dery cutting the tape to inaugurate the Child Protection Digital Forensic Lab. With him is the UNICEF Representative in Ghana, Ms Anne-Claire Dufay

The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, has stated that though the benefits of the digital evolution on children were enormous, it also posed a serious threat and risk to them.

He mentioned some of the risks as bullying, harassment and their images being  shared on the internet.

Mr Dery, at the inauguration in Accra last Thursday of the country’s first ever Child Protection Digital Forensic Laboratory of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, therefore, called for a collaborative effort among social workers, teachers, parents, policy makers and the private sector on one side to work with the police and other law enforcement agencies to systematically protect children online.

“The opportunities the digital evolution offers children include education, entertainment, etc.

The Ghana Police Service, as the leading internal security agency, has the duty to protect these children online but the police alone cannot do it. We need to support the police to make the work successful,” he pointed out.

The laboratory, which is said to be the first in West and Central Africa, is designed specifically to prevent and respond to criminal acts of online abuse, exploitation and violence against children.

It  is to  strengthen the reliability and integrity of investigations of online abuse against children through the acquisition, analysis and presentation of electronic evidence from digital devices and the Internet.

This would in turn help to boost the conviction rates and prosecutions involving such crimes.

The laboratory was established by the CID and the Ministry of the Interior with technical support from UNICEF and funding from the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

The Embassy of the United States and the British High Commission also supported it.

Mr Dery gave the assurance that the establishment of the laboratory would help build the