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Text messages advocate Zambians to report online child abuse

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Alerts sent to every citizen encourage use of portal where illegal images and videos is also available flagged up anonymously

Text meanings recommending people to report online child abuse were sent to every Zambian national on Tuesday, as the country launched a crackdown on illegal images.

Zambia is the latest southern African country to set up a portal for reporting abusive personas or videos that allows members of the public to report online content anonymously. Revealings will be analysed by the Internet Watch Foundation( IWF ), a British charity that works with internet firms, governments and law enforcement to remove illegal images.

The initiative is intended to create stronger safeguards as internet access increases across Zambia, where an estimated one in five people are online.

” Increasingly, children in Zambia have access to mobile phones and mobile internet. Their safe online is paramount ,” said Muyeba Chikonde, the high commissioner for Zambia in the UK, who explained that some people were reluctant to come forward. “[ People] also get scared to[ speaking time]- tomorrow you are a witness, and all these issues .”

It is hoped the portal will make it considerably easier for beings to flag corruption confidentially.

Zambia is the seventh country in the Southern African Development Community to establish such a portal, following concern about a lack of reporting mechanisms in developing countries. Malawi, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Mauritius and Namibia have all launched similar programmes through the IWF. Burundi and Uganda have also introduced portals.

Funding from the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children will support the introduction of same programmes in 30 developing countries.

Last year, the IWF identified and removed more than 80,000 webpages containing progeny sexual abuse epitomes and videos. The darkweb and the borderless nature of online child abuse- a child could be abused in Russia, with images hosted in the Netherlands and viewed in Australia- presents a challenge to child protection experts.

Cambridge-based psychoanalysts for the IWF assess portrait to place clues that might identify where abuse has taken place.” Often you can tell from an epitome, there might be a plug socket or some sound on the video which help to identify small children ,” said Susie Hargreaves, the IWF’s chief executive.” We can then intensify it and law enforcement can step in .”

But in the vast majority of cases it is not possible to save a child. One specialist, who were not able to be appointed, said she has often discover the same brat being abused throughout their childhood and teenage years.” A batch of periods we’ll interpret brats grow up online from a very young age right through to teenager. Some of them have got to the point where you can’t do anything about them because they’ve spanned that threshold of age ,” she said, adding that they sometimes continue to appear in likeness as adults.

As access to the internet changes in developing countries, the profile of children who are being abused is also changing.” Because internet invasion has been mainly in the western countries, we have tended to see, historically, more white caucasian progenies. But as the internet develops in different countries, we’re starting to see different patterns develop ,” said Hargreaves.

On Tuesday, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority sent a message to each phone owned by a Zambian national, pushing citizens to report abuse through the country’s portal.

Chikonde said government ministries are now focused on raising awareness among members of the public.” Sometimes it’s fear of the unknown[ that impede a person reporting abuse ]. The elegance of the portal is that you can report it anonymously. I don’t see why you should keep quiet if you see something .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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