Disrupting harm in Ethiopia

Evidence on online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Disrupting harm in Ethiopia
UNICEF Ethiopia/2022


Leveraging the unique and comprehensive evidence gathered, Disrupting Harm (DH) identifies practical and actionable solutions to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation both online and offline. Disrupting Harm in Ethiopia is the fifth report to launch as part of Disrupting Harm, a ground-breaking, evidence-led research project on online child sexual exploitation and abuse (OCSEA). 

Key findings from the Disrupting Harm in Ethiopia report include:

  • Attitudes about sex in Ethiopia may be impacting the reporting of online child sexual exploitation and abuse - there were zero sexual abuse or exploitation cases involving technology recorded by the Ethiopian law enforcement agencies between 2017 and 2019.
  • Due to lack of awareness and understanding, victim blaming is a deeply concerning issue. Young people surveyed in Ethiopia felt that people have a degree of responsibility for the online sexual exploitation and abuse they endure - For example, 73% of children and 84% of caregivers agreed with statements that if a person takes naked images or videos of themselves, then it is their fault if those materials are shared with others.
  • Yet abuse is happening. Children in Ethiopia are being subjected to harrowing experiences of online child sexual exploitation and abuse - In the past year alone, 10% of internet-users aged 12–17 in Ethiopia were victims of grave instances of online sexual exploitation and abus, including children being blackmailed to engage in sexual activities, having their sexual images without permission, and/or coercing them to engage in sexual activities through promises of money or gifts. Scaled to the population, this represents an estimated 300,000 children in one year alone.
Disrupting harm in Ethiopia report
UNICEF Ethiopia
Publication date


(PDF, 3,29 MB)