By Constance Ndeleko
During the two day National Stakeholders Consultation forum different organizations and different institution converged in Nairobi to consult on child online sexual exploitation with the aim of:
- Contributing to increase understanding of child online exploitation in Kenya
- To develop an advocacy plan from the audit on laws and policies
- To seek views and input from key stakeholders towards the development of National Action plan on Child Online Sexual Exploitation.
- To agree on roles and responsibilities of various stakeholder.
Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE) refers to crimes committed by offenders who are using Information Communications Technology (ICT) and/or the Internet to facilitate the sexual abuse of children.
Types of online child sexual exploitation and abuse
- Online grooming–practice by means of which an adult ‘befriends’ a child with the intention of sexually abusing her/him”
- Child sexual abuse / exploitation material–The “representation, by whatever means, of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or representation of the sexual parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes” can be computer generated.
- Live streaming of child sexual abuse–involves the real-time broadcasting of child sexual abuse to viewers in remote locations. While live streaming of child sexual abuse frequently involves transmission across national borders over the internet, it is important to note that some countries have reported instances of domestic live streaming of child sexual abuse.
- Sexting –self production of sexual images or exchange of sexual images or messages.
- Sextortion– blackmailing of a person with the help of self-generated images of that person in order to extort sexual favors, money or other benefits under threats of sharing the content of the depicted person. Involves a continuous process of children producing those materials.
During the discussion presentation it came out clearly that there’s a need to involve children in monitoring procedure to enhance child participation, sensitize the community and create general public awareness to inform the society of the about OCSE.
We should collect and generate adequate data that can be used to measure the magnitude of OCSE and progress of the measures taken to curb it as well as give recommendations on the way forward.
In presence of different legal instruments, it is high time we enforce and implement laws and policies towards safeguarding our children through strengthening collaboration among state and non-state actors on Child Protection.
We come from rich cultural and traditional backgrounds; it is important to review our cultural aspect and enforce relevant indicators that will influence change to protect our children from OCSE.
There’s a need to come up with relevant and precise reporting mechanisms that is well coordinated to enhance ease reportage of cases by victims. Provision of psych-social support to the victims is paramount as well as providing a window of assistance to the perpetrators to be enlightened about their negative acts and why they should get help to prevent repetition of the acts.
With the ever evolving online super highway it is supreme to fill in the gaps and loop holes especially when we have undefined laws on different forms of OCSE, need to regulate video dens and cyber cafes operations and enhance capacity building to parents, the work force; police especially on how to handle cases related to OCSE.
Emerging Online Trends
- Cyber bullying
- Online radicalization
- Addicted to pornography
- Identity theft/impersonation
- Exposure to inappropriate content online e.g. Gambling
The way forward from National Plan of Action on OCSE:
- Strengthen existing public reporting and referral mechanism
- Centralize toll free numbers with the link to police; will combine forces.
- Need for capacity building to the relevant stakeholders.
- Enhance mechanisms to protect victims.
- Need to come up with technical solutions.
- Need to initiate training programs.
- Need to engage ISPs to put firewalls to protect children.