THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN AGAINST ONLINE CHILDREN SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE IN AFRICA (OCSEA:2020 – 2025
BACKGROUND AND RATIONAL FOR THE STRATEGY
Guided by Agenda 2063, the Africa Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) child under article 27 which protects children from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse and requires states to protect children from all forms of sexual abuse and put measures in place to end OCSEA and has basic principles of CRC articles 34 & 36.
The strategy is validated by the rapid Expansion of internet connectivity and use in Africa with half of the world’s entire population using the internet while by December 2018 in Africa , 24.4% of the population was using the Internet as of December 2018 compared to 2.1% in 2005. In addition a combination of factors has necessitated the need for a protective online strategy for children including : the rapidly increasing connectivity, limited regulation, COVID-19, limited awareness, and poverty together hold the potential for an explosive growth in OCSEA , lack of scientific evidence documenting OCSEA’s actual prevalence
- Seeks to build an Africa where children benefit fully of rights and welfare to make contribution to a peaceful and prosperous Africa.
- Promote and protect the rights and welfare of the child in a safe and secure online space for learning
- Inform child friendly laws, policies and practices, with children and parents empowered to keep governments accountable.
- To generate evidence to guide advocacy and programmatic response and Increase continental awareness, political support and investments to end OCSEA;
- Strengthen institutional frameworks and monitoring and accountability mechanisms
- Enhance Continental guidelines and technical assistance to catalyze policy, programmatic and advocacy actions
- Develop a stronger network and multi sectoral partnerships between the education sector and the ICT industry.
A supportive reporting environment supported by research, monitoring and evaluation of programs on ending OCSEA;
AU Member States implement coordinated cross-sectoral efforts backed by High level political commitment, Comprehensive legal, policy and programmatic frameworks to end OCSEA
Engaged Media and enhance their involvement in raising awareness to the public and policy makers;
Enhanced capacity of justice system for law enforcement and judicial officers to perform effective investigations, convictions and offender management;
Victims of OCSEA are provided with integrated end-to-end services to help recover and cope with the immediate and long-term impact of the effects of the abuse;
Engaged industry in developing and implementing solutions to prevent and tackle OCSEA.
Programming reinforced to promote Reporting Hotline, Education programmes, Child Participation, Offender Support System and community involvement