Launch of the international reporting portal for online sexual abuse and exploitation in Madagascar

18 August 2020
Protection en ligne des enfants
UNICEF Madagascar/2020

Antananarivo, August 13, 2020: Madagascar will henceforth have access to international support to report online abuse and exploitation. A new portal dedicated to Madagascar was launched today by the Internet Watch Foundation as part of the new collaboration between the Ministry of Population, Social Protection and the Promotion of Women and UNICEF.

This portal allows citizens of Madagascar and around the world to securely and anonymously report images and videos of sexual abuse against Malagasy children appearing on the internet. The reported contents will be analyzed by IWF experts with modern and efficient technologies in order to remove them and prevent them from appearing on the internet, without preventing criminal prosecution of the authors, as these images are reported to local authorities and made available to them to initiate legal proceedings.

In Madagascar, the study conducted by ECPAT France in 2015 in Antananarivo and Nosy Be on “The prostitution of minors in connection with new technologies” revealed that 63% of teenagers / children use the internet to look for partners and that 75.3% of these young people / children have physically met the people contacted. 87.7% of them sent their photos to their correspondents, 29.2% of whom in underwear. With the internet access expansion over recent years, these figures will tend to increase.

The spread of material / images of online child sexual abuse and exploitation is a worldwide phenomenon that requires not only a genuine undertaking of responsibility from each country but also international cooperation. Face to this phenomenon and to further protect children against these increased risks, several actions have already been undertaken by the government of Madagascar, under the coordination of the Ministry of Population, Social Protection and Promotion of Women, with the technical and financial support from UNICEF and in partnership with civil society, particularly Youth First and ECPAT. These actions mainly involve the setting-up of a coordination structure for activities relating to the fight against online child abuse and violence against children, the development of education and awareness tools for teenagers / children in order to provide them with the necessary knowledge to protect themselves against this phenomenon. The actions also include the establishment of the toll free hotline 147 and the arozaza.mg site to receive reports of sexual violence and online contents that are harmful to children.

Through this portal, Madagascar benefits from a technological advantage and from a global partnership that strengthens the efforts made to protect children from online child sexual abuse and exploitation.
Madagascar becomes the 41st country which has a portal set up by IWF in the world, and the 18th in Africa.

The setting-up of the portal in Madagascar received financial support from the End Violence Fund.
“In view of the risks of sexual abuse and exploitation linked to the use of internet by our children in Madagascar, my department which has the primary responsibility for the promotion of the rights and protection of the child, does not stop developing actions and extending partnership in order to eradicate this phenomenon. Thus, the collaboration with the Internet Watch Foundation, through the establishment of the reporting portal in Madagascar is a major step towards achieving our challenge,” explains Mrs. NAHARIMAMY Lucien Irmah, Minister of Population, Social Protection. and the Promotion of Women, Madagascar.

“The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is intolerable, whether it takes place online or in the real world. That is the reason why UNICEF supported the establishment of this reporting portal so that children, Malagasy children in particular –  victims of these atrocities – can benefit from better protection and at international level. The most important thing is that this support offers the possibility of permanently removing images of child sexual abuse from the internet and thus protecting the children from re-victimization,” explains Nicolette Moodie, Chief of the Child Protection section, UNICEF Madagascar.

“Today, the government of Madagascar, through the Ministry of Population, Social Protection and Promotion of Women, demonstrates its commitment to making Madagascar a hostile country towards online images and videos of child sexual abuse. At the Internet Watch Foundation, we are very happy to have worked with the Ministry and UNICEF to make this possible. The Reporting Portal is a further step towards a more secure internet for children and young people in Madagascar," explains Ms. Susie Hargreaves, Chief Executive of the Internet Watch Foundation

The portal in question: https://report.iwf.org.uk/mg

Press contacts:

- MPPSPF: RASOLOFONJATOVO Auguste, Director for Children and Families,
Phone 034 05 170 27
E-mail: depopulation@gmail.com

 

Media contacts

Timothy James Irwin
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Madagascar
Fanja Saholiarisoa
Communication Officer
UNICEF Madagascar

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