Monday, June 1, 2020

New report documents Botswana’s ‘complicit silence’ on child sex abuse

A yearly journal report published by African Centre Review against paedophilia and child pornography in Botswana offers a glimpse of this widespread and complex phenomenon. Botswana is among African countries that have been singled out for “complicit silence” on child sexual abuse and is also accused of having “only a few countermeasures” to protect and prevent the sexual violence and exploitation of children.

James Fraser who is among the authors of the report titled “All against Paedophilia: The case of Botswana” says for the past ten years, they have been working around the clock to detect and report hidden pedo-pornographic material in Botswana.

The report released on April 10, shows that the number of monitored links in Botswana has increased since 2008 and they also highlighted that there is a concern regarding a surge of content containing sexual violence against children. The report also found out that there were almost 275 000 photos and more 23 000 videos of paedophilia but did not specify whether the content and said links were reported to the law enforcement agencies in Botswana.

“We discovered more than 117 sites in the past 10 years, picking up a lot of data concerning the traits and techniques of predators on the internet in Botswana. Children between the ages of nine and eleven are the ones preferred by online paedophiles, followed by children between the ages of four and eight,” states part of the report.

The report also says “while these numbers may be deplorable, they only refer to those identified through our investigations. The real numbers may actually be much larger. Amongst other things, the report highlighted that there is a “great probability” of prostitution rings in Botswana involving children.

Throughout the ten year period they have been conducting investigations, they discovered “extensive file sharing services to the Deep Web” and also how online predators have become difficult to identify and detect because of their adaptation to new technologies.

According to World Health Organisation data from 2014, more than 120 million children are sexually abused worldwide.

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