About 73 percent of children who participated in the study hold the view that “ if a person takes naked images or videos of themselves, then it is their fault if those materials are shared with other people.”
A new study, which covered the period until 2021, released by End Violence against Children indicates that as many as 300,000 children were exploited sexually online. From the report, the study was funded by “End Violence Against Children.”
ECPAT International, INTERPOL, and Unicef Office of Research were involved in the course of the research. Part of the motive in undertaking the research, as indicated in the report, was” to better understand how digital technology facilitates the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.” It was undertaken last year.
Perhaps there were children who were sexually exploited online but did not disclose it given one of the findings from the study indicates that “Attitudes about sex may be impacting reporting online child sexual exploitation and abuse – Children who were subjected to abuse but did not tell anyone. They worried they may get in trouble, did not know where to go, and/or felt embarrassed or ashamed. 57% of children surveyed did not know where to get help if they or a friend were subjected to sexual assault or sexual harassment.”
The project was implemented in 12 other countries.
End Violence Against Children highlighted that the key findings from the research in Ethiopia are :
Key findings from the Disrupting Harm in Ethiopia report include:
Attitudes about sex in Ethiopia may be impacting the reporting of online child sexual exploitation and abuse – there were zero sexual abuse or exploitation cases involving technology recorded by the Ethiopian law enforcement agencies between 2017 and 2019.
Due to lack of awareness and understanding, victim blaming is a deeply concerning issue. Young people surveyed in Ethiopia felt that people have a degree of responsibility for the online sexual exploitation and abuse they endure – For example, 73% of children and 84% of caregivers agreed with statements that if a person takes naked images or videos of themselves, then it is their fault if those materials are shared with others.
Yet abuse is happening. Children in Ethiopia are being subjected to harrowing experiences of online child sexual exploitation and abuse – In the past year alone, 10% of internet-users aged 12–17 in Ethiopia were victims of grave instances of online sexual exploitation and abus, including children being blackmailed to engage in sexual activities, having their sexual images without permission, and/or coercing them to engage in sexual activities through promises of money or gifts. Scaled to the population, this represents an estimated 300,000 children in one year alone.
The organisation has released a 76 page report from the study , and it is available HERE
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