Disrupting Harm: Online Risk and Harm for Children in Eastern and Southern Africa

Disrupting Harm: Online Risk and Harm for Children in Eastern and Southern Africa

Published: 2023 Innocenti Research Briefs

Despite gaps in some parts of the continent, the number of young people across Africa who use the internet increases every year. This increase in internet availability is already having some positive impacts in terms of creating jobs and reducing poverty, which is necessary to meet the needs of a fast-growing population. At the same time, countries need to proactively mitigate the potential increase in exposure to online risk and harm that can result when countries transition from low to high connectivity. 

The purpose of this report is to draw on the voices and experiences of children to provide a regional snapshot of the online harm landscape as a baseline, and urge regional and national bodies to continue mobilizing to address these harms in light of Africa’s digital transformation. 

The intent is not to compare countries in terms of who is doing better or worse, but to look for similarities and differences that can help us understand more about the causes and solutions for these issues and find opportunities for regional learning. 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 16 | Thematic area: Child Protection, ESARO
Disrupting Harm in Mozambique: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in Mozambique: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
– Global Office of Research and Foresight UNICEF Innocenti; ECPAT International; INTERPOL .; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Marium Saeed; Rogers Twesigye

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
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 Mozambique. 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.
Disrupting Harm in Ethiopia: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in Ethiopia: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
– Global Office of Research and Foresight UNICEF Innocenti; ECPAT International; INTERPOL .; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Marium Saeed; Rogers Twesigye

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
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, including Cambodia, and seven Eastern and Southern African countries. Data was synthesised from nine different research activities to generate each national report. These tell the story of the threat and present clear recommendations for action.
Disrupting Harm in Kenya: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in Kenya: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
– Global Office of Research and Foresight UNICEF Innocenti; ECPAT International; INTERPOL .; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Marium Saeed; Rogers Twesigye

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
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, including Cambodia, and seven Eastern and Southern African countries. Data was synthesised from nine different research activities to generate each national report. These tell the story of the threat and present clear recommendations for action.
Disrupting Harm in Uganda: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in Uganda: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
– Global Office of Research and Foresight UNICEF Innocenti; ECPAT International; INTERPOL .; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Marium Saeed; Rogers Twesigye

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
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, including Cambodia, and seven Eastern and Southern African countries. Data was synthesised from nine different research activities to generate each national report. These tell the story of the threat and present clear recommendations for action.
Disrupting Harm in Tanzania: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in Tanzania: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
– Global Office of Research and Foresight UNICEF Innocenti; ECPAT International; INTERPOL .; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Marium Saeed; Rogers Twesigye

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
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, including Cambodia, and seven Eastern and Southern African countries. Data was synthesised from nine different research activities to generate each national report. These tell the story of the threat and present clear recommendations for action.
Disrupting Harm in Cambodia: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in Cambodia: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight; ECPAT International; INTERPOL .; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Marium Saeed; Rogers Twesigye

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
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, including Cambodia, and seven Eastern and Southern African countries. Data was synthesised from nine different research activities to generate each national report. These tell the story of the threat and present clear recommendations for action.
Disrupting Harm in Indonesia: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in Indonesia: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
– Global Office of Research and Foresight UNICEF Innocenti; INTERPOL .; ECPAT International; Marium Saeed; Rogers Twesigye; Daniel Kardefelt Winther

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
Funded by the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, through its Safe Online initiative, ECPAT International, INTERPOL and UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti worked in partnership to design and implement a multifaceted research project on online child sexual exploitation and abuse: Disrupting Harm. The research was conducted in seven Eastern and Southern African countries and six Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia. Data are synthesised from up to nine different research activities to generate each national report which tells the story of the threat and presents clear recommendations for action.
Disrupting Harm in Malaysia: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in Malaysia: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
– Global Office of Research and Foresight UNICEF Innocenti; INTERPOL .; ECPAT International

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
Funded by the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, through its Safe Online initiative, ECPAT International, 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 present multiple viewpoints around the issue of OCSEA. The research was conducted in seven Eastern and Southern African countries and six Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia. Data are synthesised from up to nine different research activities to generate each national report which tells the story of the threat of OCSEA and the national response mechanisms in place to tackle this form of violence against children. The report ends with a set of clear recommendations for action.
Disrupting Harm in Thailand: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in Thailand: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight; ECPAT International; INTERPOL .

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

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, including Thailand, and seven Eastern and Southern African countries. 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 Thailand report include:

● Children and caregivers are not reporting online sexual abuse.

○ Between 10% - 31% of children (aged 12-17) who had experienced online sexual exploitation and abuse in the past year did not disclose the most recent incident to anyone.

○ Only 17% of caregivers surveyed said they would report to the police if their child experienced sexual harassment, abuse, or exploitation online.

● Children are being subjected to horrific experiences of online child sexual abuse and exploitation. Why aren’t they reporting it? The main barriers to disclosure reported by children were a lack of awareness around where to go or whom to tell.

○ 47% of children surveyed said they would not know where to get help if they or a friend were sexually assaulted or harassed.

● What are the experiences of those who are reporting? Experiences leave some children feeling ashamed, blamed, and silenced.

For more information, visit the Disrupting Harm Thailand country report page.

Download the advocacy brief.

 

Disrupting Harm in Thailand: หลัักฐานเกี่่ยวกัับแสวงหาประโยชน์์ทางเพศ และล่่วงละเมิิดทางเพศเด็็กทางออนไล

Disrupting Harm in Thailand: หลัักฐานเกี่่ยวกัับแสวงหาประโยชน์์ทางเพศ และล่่วงละเมิิดทางเพศเด็็กทางออนไล

AUTHOR(S)
UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight; ECPAT International; INTERPOL .

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
Disrupting Harm in South Africa: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting Harm in South Africa: Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

AUTHOR(S)
– Global Office of Research and Foresight UNICEF Innocenti; ECPAT International; INTERPOL .; Daniel Kardefelt Winther; Marium Saeed; Rogers Twesigye

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report
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, including Cambodia, and seven Eastern and Southern African countries. Data was synthesised from nine different research activities to generate each national report. These tell the story of the threat and present clear recommendations for action.
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