Disrupting Harm in Namibia
Innocenti Research Report
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Funded by the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, through its Safe Online initiative, ECPAT, INTERPOL, and UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti worked in partnership to design and implement Disrupting Harm – a research project on online child sexual exploitation and abuse (OCSEA). This unique partnership brings a multidisciplinary approach to a complex issue in order to see all sides of the problem. OCSEA refers to situations that involve digital or communication technologies at some point during the continuum of abuse or exploitation; it can occur fully online or through a mix of online and in-person interactions between offenders and children. The Disrupting Harm research was conducted in six Southeast Asian countries and seven Eastern and Southern African countries, including Namibia. Data were synthesised from nine different research activities to generate each national report which tells the story of the threat, and presents clear recommendations for action.
Key findings in the Disrupting Harm in Namibia report include:
- ● 20,000 children experienced clear examples of online sexual exploitation and abuse in the last year alone. This included blackmailing children to engage in sexual activities, sharing their sexual images without permission, or coercing them to engage in sexual activities through promises of money or gifts.
- ● 30% of children who had experienced abuse online did not disclose their experiences to anyone, citing fear and lack of awareness on whom or where to report to. One child said, “No, I did not [report] because I was afraid. My mom had warned me not to communicate with people I do not know on social media, so I was afraid that she would criticize me for doing that.”
- ● 11% of children surveyed were subjected to sexual comments online that made them feel uncomfortable in the past year.
- ● 80% of online sexual abuse and exploitation offenders were someone the child already knew. These were often intimate partners and adult friends and family members. Someone unknown to the child was responsible for about one in four instances of online child sexual exploitation and abuse identified in the household survey.
For more information, read the Advocacy Brief.