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UNODC launches the 'Safer Children Online' campaign to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse in Ghana and Senegal

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In a significant step towards safeguarding the digital well-being of Ghana and Senegal's children, the Global Programme on Cybercrime of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a compelling campaign titled 'Safer Children Online.' The campaign aims to raise awareness about the growing issue of online child sexual exploitation and abuse (OCSEA) in West Africa, particularly in Ghana and Senegal, while empowering these communities to report such cases effectively with the necessary knowledge and tools.

For Amado Philip de Andres, Regional Representative of UNODC for West and Central Africa, the 'Safer Children Online' campaign is a commendable initiative that addresses a critical issue facing Africa's children in the digital age.

“This campaign takes a significant step towards creating a safer online environment for youths in West Africa. It is a reminder that, as a society, we must remain vigilant and proactive in protecting our children from the perils of the digital world.”

 Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: A Rising Concern

The digital age has brought unparalleled opportunities for learning and communication, but it has also given rise to new challenges, particularly when it comes to the safety of children online. Online child sexual exploitation and abuse are grave concerns that require immediate attention. In Ghana and Senegal, as in many other parts of the world, children are increasingly vulnerable to online predators who exploit their innocence and trust.

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The 'Safer Children Online' Campaign

The 'Safer Children Online' campaign by UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime seeks to address this pressing issue. Through strategically-placed billboards across urban centers in Accra and Dakar and on digital platforms, the campaign aims to:

  • Raise Awareness - informing parents, guardians, teachers, and young people about the potential dangers lurking online. The campaign emphasizes the importance of vigilance and proactive measures to protect children in the digital world.
  • Encourage Reporting - to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse effectively, it is crucial to encourage the reporting of such cases. The billboards prominently feature information on how to report incidents anonymously and safely. UNODC provides a dedicated online platform for reporting, ensuring that concerned individuals can take action without fear.
  • Promote Safe Online Practices - highlighting the significance of instilling safe online practices in children. The campaign encourages open conversations between parents and children about the risks associated with the internet and the importance of responsible online behavior.
  • Advocate for Legal Action - advocating for the enforcement of existing laws against online child sexual exploitation and abuse in Ghana and Senegal. The campaign sends a strong message that these crimes will not go unpunished.

How to Get Involved

To support the 'Safer Children Online' campaign, individuals, organizations, and communities can:

  • Share campaign materials and information on social media platforms to reach a wider audience.
  • Educate themselves and others about online safety best practices by visiting the campaign website.
  • Report any suspected cases of online child sexual exploitation and abuse through the dedicated reporting platform provided by UNODC on the campaign website:

Together, we can make a difference and ensure that every child in Ghana can explore the internet without fear.