On 28th June 2018, GNRC in partnership with Ethics Education for Children and the Umbrella for Vulnerable in Rwanda, conducted a one day workshop for children focusing on Protecting Children from Violent Extremism, Gang Violence and Organized Crime, and – Ending Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children. The workshop, which was hosted in Kigali, Rwanda, was attended by six hundred (600) children and youth from the region.
Different experts in the field of child protection and child rights participated in facilitating the event through lectures, case studies and practical examples. Facilitators discussed the online sexual extortion of children, which occurs when an adult tricks a child to self-generate sexual images, later using them to blackmail him or her by demanding sexual favors or money, and threatening to share the material if the child fails to cooperate.
Participants noted that usually there are intermediaries, such as a child’s family member or people from the child’s community, who force the child to “perform” in front of a webcam. Facilitators shared some of the sobering statistics on online child exploitation that show 270,000 out of the 1.8 billion total images uploaded daily are child sexual abuse images. And 38% of abusers in child abuse images are the child’s own parents, and 10% are other relatives of the children.
Participants agreed that the impunity must end and they must all come together to fight the problem through educating their peers, reporting any form of violence to the police or child safety organization and staying away from any possible threat.