Online child abuse in Uganda: An interview with Mark Kavenagh from ECPAT
In this podcast Alan Collins discusses with Mark Kavenagh from ECPAT on-line child abuse in Uganda in the wake of new research delivered by ECPAT, INTERPOL, and the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, funded through the End Violence Partnership’s Safe Online Initiative, Disrupting Harm in Uganda is an evidence-led report that outlines the harrowing realities of online child sexual exploitation and abuse in Uganda.
Key findings in the Disrupting Harm in Uganda report include:
Alan and Mark discuss broader issues in society which may inhibit reporting.
The Disrupting Harm in Uganda provides actionable recommendations for the government, lawmakers, industry, and other actors in Uganda to strengthen the national prevention and response to this crime.
Key actions include:
Alan and Mark also discuss and explore what other countries can learn from the Ugandan experience and, also, about how e can learn from survivors.
About Disrupting Harm
In early 2019, the End Violence Partnership, through its Safe Online initiative, invested $7 million to develop Disrupting Harm, a holistic and innovative research project that aims to better understand how digital technology facilitates the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
Safe Online brought together and funded three organisations – ECPAT, INTERPOL and the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti – to undertake new research in 13 countries across Eastern and Southern Africa and Southeast Asia. This type of holistic research and assessment is new and unique. The methodology developed for these assessments has been implemented across the 13 countries and can be used by other countries in the future.
About Disrupting Harm in Uganda
Data collection took place from early 2020 through to early 2021 with the cooperation of the Government of Uganda and a wide range of public bodies and other organizations active in the country. A comprehensive analysis was made of the legislation, policy and systems addressing online child sexual exploitation and abuse in Uganda.
A range of statistical data was gathered for 2017-2019. Surveys were conducted with internet-using children and their caregivers in early 2021, and front-line service providers from private and civil society in late 2020. Interviews were held with high-level government officials, law enforcement officials, justice professionals, and child victims of online child sexual abuse and exploitation and their caregivers. In addition, trauma-informed expert practitioners led several unstructured one-on-one conversations with survivors of online child sexual abuse and exploitation.
The analysis for Disrupting Harm in Uganda was finalised in May 2021. The recommendations were discussed further at a national consultation on 19 August 2021.
Full report can be read here: https://www.end-violence.org/disrupting-harm#country-reports
(*) Definition of OCSEA:
Online child sexual exploitation and abuse (OCSEA) refers to situations involving digital, internet and communication technologies at some point during the continuum of abuse or exploitation. OCSEA can occur fully online or through a mix of online and in-person interactions between offenders and children.
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