27 Jun 2017 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 27 JUN (NAMPA) The International Watch Foundation (IWF) has launched a national online reporting portal for child pornography in collaboration with Lifeline/Childline Namibia and several ministries.
The IWF is a United Kingdom-based non-governmental organisation that works globally to help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse.
The portal has been set up on the Lifeline/Childline website and provides users with the option to identify themselves or report content anonymously.
IWF Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Kristof Claesen said at the launch in Windhoek on Tuesday the portal has already been set up in 16 other countries.
It brings together police, governments, child protection organisations and other key stakeholders to create awareness of the importance of reporting child sexual abuse images, he said.
According to a research study done by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) in 2016, 93 per cent of surveyed children between the ages of 13-17 in Namibia access the internet, both in rural and urban areas.
About 68 per cent of these respondents reported having seen sexual content online they did not wish to see, while 31 per cent had been sent sexually explicit images of people they did not know and 29 per cent had seen child sexual material online.
These findings have enabled Unicef and its partners to break the myth still prevalent in Namibia that children do not access the internet on a large scale and are not at risk of online violence and exploitation, Unicef Deputy Representative at the launch, Marcus Betts said.
The global and now also nationally available evidence has accelerated the engagement of the highest levels of government, including law enforcement and criminal justice partners, to collaborate to creating a safer environment for children, he said.
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology said one of its tasks is to find the balance between the enormous potential of new technologies and ensuring the online safety of vulnerable people, including children.
In a speech read on his behalf, MICT Permanent Secretary Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said to ensure this, the ministry of is in the process of drafting the Electronic Transactions and Cybersecurity Bill.