Be vigilant and monitor content consumed by children

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The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has urged parents,caretakers and guardians to be more vigilant and closely monitor the content their children are accessing and consuming on TV, radio, online and other broadcast channels, especially this time when schools have closed for the short holidays.

Speaking during an interview on SPICE FM, today, 23rd September, 2022, the KFCB Ag. Chief Executive, Mr. Christopher Wambua, said that it is necessary for parents, guardians, caregivers and society at large to ensure that content consumed by children does not corrupt their morals.

“We must get concerned by the kind of content and material our children are consuming on TV, radio, online and other broadcast channels such as Tiktok, and guide them appropriately,” Mr. Wambua said, adding that protecting minors from inappropriate content is a collective responsibility.

As the Board mandated to regulate the creation, possession, broadcasting, distribution and exhibition of film and broadcast content, Mr. Wambua reiterated KFCB’s commitment to work with other public and private sector agencies on programs that are geared towards ensuring that children are safe from harmful content.

“Research has shown that film and media content influence the behavior and the thinking of consumers, especially children who are most impressionable,” he said, adding that the Board is working with other agencies such as the Communication Authority of Kenya, Google Kenya, Eveminet Communication Solutions Limited, Netflix, and CODE-IP Trust, among others, on a Digital Parenting and Child Online Protection programs that seek to equip parents/caregivers with skills and knowledge on digital parenting.

The programs further aim at sensitizing children on the dangers of internet-driven content consumption as well as to monitor their online interactions.

“It is in this context that KFCB in partnership with Netflix and other stakeholders will be meeting to strategize on the ongoing Digital Parenting Program and plan for its official launch later in the year,” Mr. Wambua said.

On the same note, Mr. Wambua urged broadcasters to strictly observe the Watershed Period (5 am to 10 pm) and ensure that content aired is suitable for Genial Exhibition (GE).

 “We are concerned that some broadcasters are blatantly going against the Watershed Period,” he said, and emphasized that as enforcers of the Watershed Period, KFCB appeals to broadcasters to support efforts towards protecting minors from unpalatable content.

Mr. Wambua noted that the Board will continue to sensitize broadcasters and other stakeholders on the provisions of the Films and Stage Plays Act cap 222 of the Laws of Kenya and other laws governing the Board’s mandate and functions.

Mr. Wambua also called upon film distributors and exhibitors to get the requisite licenses from the Board before starting operations as stipulated in Cap 222.

“We have made the issuance of licenses to filmmakers easy by availing it online via the KFCB’s Online Licensing System (OLS) available on our website.

In a bid to create a facilitative regulatory environment and support the local creative industry, Mr. Wambua said that KFCB is committed to Co-Regulation Frameworks.

 “We have embarked on various co-regulation frameworks aimed at creating a facilitative regulatory environment,” he noted.

The frameworks (Proposal on Redefining the Role of Film Agents and the Proposal on Co-Regulation Framework for Video on Demand and Streaming Services) have been subjected to public participation.

Should the proposal on redefining the role of film agents in Kenya be adopted by the industry and other stakeholders, effective 1st October 2022, Film Agents will concentrate solely on providing logistical support to foreign film and television producers. 

Mr. Wambua observed that KFCB has created a platform/facility through the Nairobi Film Centre (NFC) where local content creators can showcase and exhibit their art at affordable rates, adding that the Board is in the process of acquiring a mobile cinema track that will be a boost to the industry in terms of showcasing their art/creativity.

“The Board remains open to collaborations with other public and private sector agencies on programs aimed at creating a conducive regulatory environment as well as the growth of the local film industry,” Mr. Wambua said.