News

The African Union Commission (AUC) hosted the Global Summit to Tackle Online Child Sexual Exploitation on 11th and 12th December 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The summit was sponsored by the UK Government and the WeProtect Global Alliance. AUC, one of eight regional member organizations was invited to join the new Board of the WeProtect Alliance during the summit.

In its continued efforts to actively involve women in Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), Arigatou International–Nairobi builds women’s capacity to educate children and young people against radicalization into violent extremism. On the 2nd December 2019, Arigatou International–Nairobi in partnership with the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) formally launched the, “Building Family Resilience: Women of Faith in Action,” project in Mombasa, Kenya. This was two months after an equivalent project had been launched in Nairobi to run simultaneously with the one in Mombasa.

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The Executive Assistant to Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, Mr. Hironari Miyamoto together with the Secretary General, GNRC, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, represented Arigatou International in an international high-level conference on Initiatives for the Effective Protection of Child Dignity in the Digital World on 14th and 15th November 2019 at the Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, in the Vatican Gardens.

Online child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSE) is an emerging challenge that is a nightmare to the protection of children globally. According to the FBI there are a total of 750,000 individuals looking to connect with children across the globe for sexual purposes online at any moment. This means there are so many children exposed to and already affected by cyber-bullying, harassment and sextortion. Low levels of awareness of the gravity of this issue, weak or non-existent law enforcement frameworks on the perpetrators and the rapidly growing and sophisticated digital space and access make it difficult to protect the dignity of children.

The First Continental Consultation on ending Online Child Sexual Exploitation (OCSE) in Africa was held on 6th to 8th March 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This consultation involved representatives from 37 African Union (AU) Member States and was for the purpose of building their awareness on OCSE and mobilizing them to commit to tackling the threat at country level. The Member States developed an ‘Outcome Document’ that outlined recommendations on continental level actions as well as country level actions to tackle OCSE for consideration by the African Union Commission (AUC) and Member States.

The National Committees of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay, express deep concern over the increasing violence in the region, and its impact on children and adolescents.