Kenya: Portal to curb online child sexual exploitation launched

Africa/Kenya/31-01-2021/Author: Christine Muchira/Source:

Directorate of Criminal Investigations – DCI in partnership with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has launched an Online Portal tailored for law enforcers to handle matters of online child sexual exploitation and Abuse, augmenting the existing children protection measures.

Kenya becomes the 44th country globally and 22nd in Africa to partner with the UK-based foundation, a non-governmental organization that works closely with, but independently from law enforcement agencies in pulling down online materials and content that expose children to sexual exploitation.

Whereas in all other countries IWF has been working with non-governmental institutions, the DCI Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit’s (AHTCPU) relentlessness in pursuing children rights violators and battling human traffickers won the admiration of the foundation.

“Once cases of online sexual abuse on children are reported at our offices or anonymously through the DCI hotline, and a link to any website authoring such content is shared, this portal will enable us to expedite the process of pulling down the unsuitable materials before  they cause more damage to our children.” Ms Mueni Mutisya-the In Charge AHTCPU.

While commending the DCI & IWF for the bold move, Lady Justice Martha Koome highlighted the need for immediate action by pulling down of any online child exploitative content, citing the need for review of the way to go about receiving evidence and prosecuting children related cases.

“You do not require any court order to pull down any material that exposes a child to sexual exploitation and abuse, whether copyrighted or not. The judicial system prioritizes what is done in the best interest of the child,” she said.

Adding that: What is done in the best interest of the child.”

While presenting his compliments to IWF and other stakeholders who pledged their continued cooperation in protecting children, the Director DCI represented by the Deputy Director-Investigation Bureau Mr. Carey Nyawinda reiterated that the DCI is committed to ensuring that children are safe in both the physical and virtual environments.

The virtually held launch was attended by, among other institutions, the National Crime Agency (NCA), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Technology Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), Interpol and the Internet Service Providers.

Separately, detectives based in Makueni have launched a manhunt for a 31-year-old man suspected to have defiled and impregnated a school going child.

While at school, the 13-year-old pupil at Kathonzweni Holy Ghost Mission Primary had complained of abdominal pain, forcing the school’s administration to call upon the mother to take her to hospital.

The examination on her condition revealed that she was expectant, she thereafter disclosed to have been defiled by the suspect; Reuben Mutie of Kwa Kavisi location, who has since run into hiding.

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