An online child abuse campaign in Uganda was launched by the Internet Watch Foundation in February 2021 to bring an end to child sexual abuse on the internet. The campaign encourages the public to report any content that contains child sexual abuse.
Launched by a UK based organization, this online child abuse campaign in Uganda aims at creating safe spaces for children online has brought awareness to this ongoing issue that has worsened with the ongoing pandemic. Reports of content that involves child sexual abuse increased during the pandemic.
This could be attributed to the fact that many people were forced to stay at home due to restrictions and essentially ended up spending more time online. The numbers of malicious people who are more likely to view this kind of content online also increased.
The online child abuse campaign in Uganda has made great strides
The IWF campaign dubbed Help Children Be Children has made progress since it was launched despite the unstable internet like the shutdown of Facebook. It had recorded over 22,000 views by 18th March 2021 and 500,000 people had been reached through social media regarding the campaign according to The Independent.
There is full support from the government and other organizations like MTN, National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U), National Computer Emergency Response Team of Uganda (CERT.UG), Internet Society Uganda Chapter and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The UK-based International Charity, IWF has a hotline that has proven to be one of the most effective internationally for reporting online child sexual abuse cases. As part of the campaign to end online child sexual abuse in Uganda, there is a portal designed for reporting online child sexual abuse in Uganda known as www.stopit.ug. Through this portal, images and videos reported are assessed and taken down.
According to IWF executives, the reporting process – which can be completely anonymous can be completed in a matter of seconds and only requires the reporter to copy and paste the URL where the illegal image or video was discovered.