Report reveals around 200,000 Tanzanian children exposed to online sexual exploitation and abuse

A new study ‘Disrupting Harm in Tanzania’, conducted by End Violence Against Children with the assistance of Interpol and the United Nations Children’s Fund, reveals that about 200,000 children aged 12 to 17 years were victims of online sexual exploitation and abuse in Tanzania last year. These include being blackmailed to engage in sexual activities, their sexual images being shared without consent, or being coerced to engage in sexual activities through promises of money or gifts.

The report also mentions Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram as the preferred social media platforms for children, hesitancy among children to speak out on sexual abuse due to the stigma around sexual matters, children being unaware of how to report or seek help (82% of the children using the internet did not know how to report harmful content on social media, while 67% said they did not know where to get help), lack of understanding of how to deal protect children online by police, and existing child protection policies in Tanzania as inadequate to protect children from online sexual exploitation and abuse.