Online Sexual Exploitation: National Assembly To Review Child Right Act
The National Assembly is to review the Child Right Act to accommodate laws against online sexual exploitation
The federal government of Nigeria has also set a network mechanism in collaboration with Interpol to check issues of online child exploitation.
The Deputy Director Child & Focal Officer Online Sexual Exploitation, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr. Ali Andrew Madugu made this known at a Plan International Nigeria Webinar to discuss the latest study and report on hate and abuse against women online in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl.
The study which was conducted by Plan International in 22 countries shows 68% of girls and young women reported that they have experienced some form of online harassment on social media platforms.
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian non-profit organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.
Given that 54% of girls and young women across all countries in the African region, and 58% of girls and young women across all 22 countries surveyed said that they experience online harassment, Nigeria lies 14% below the average for the region.
The Deputy Director said a reporting mechanism documents by National Communication Commission “Keeping Children Safe Online,” Advice To Parents and Caregivers,” were distributed to 36 states Ministry of Women Affairs , community leaders and CSO’s.
“As i am talking to you there is a synergy between us , the NCC and Interpol in Nigeria Police. we are trying to put up a network mechanism, and all the MDA’S are collaborating to address. ” he said.
Contributing the Communication and Promotion Officer ,Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria, Axel Hallgren said the Swedish government just like Nigeria had same problems too.
“The balance of freedom of speech, versus what is hate, what is defamation is very difficult for prosecutors to actually convict people for it.’
“Swedish Media Agencies are really trying to educate young boys and girls on what is okay and what is not okay For example a lot of them don’t know that if you have a social media account, if you have a person that writes you and you don’t want them to write you, the first thing is to block them, then if they continue somehow through other account that’s actually stalking and that is against the law, that could be prosecuted.” he said.
“So one of the things we are teaching in Sweden is for young people to actually understand what is crime online and also how to collect evidence and share with others what is going on.”
On her part, Executive Director, Child Protection and Women Empowerment Initiative ,Damaturu, Yobe state, Ms Maryam Gambo who called for awareness to sensitize young women on usage of online platforms said a mechanism had been put in place where gender based violence could be reported in the state.
“But there is no space for reporting online cases, reporting online cases is not implemented here., we have this issue of stigmatization ,you will be shocked to know that ,even i, i ‘ve been harassed online, the best thing is to block such persons.”
‘So this social media of a thing, it will be better if we sit with the social media platform owners, we really need to train facilitators on how to capture the social media space.” she added.
The new report reveals that 61% of girls report having experienced harassment on Facebook, followed by 27% of girls experiencing harassment on WhatsApp and 19% of girls experiencing harassment on Instagram.