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Fighting child pornography

by Humphrey Nkonde


To ensure that images of children being sexually abused are removed from the internet fast, the government of Zambia has established an online-reporting portal in partnership with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), an international charity. The IWF is a global leader in the fight against child porn in cyberspace. It is running the network of reporting mechanisms from its headquarters in the UK.

Internet users in Zambia can report images of sexual abuse of children anonymously to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) reporting portal. The process is safe and takes only a few seconds. The portal is operated in collaboration with the Zambia Information Technology and Communications Authority (ZICTA), the national regulatory agency.

ZICTA expresses its commitment to providing a secure and safe cyber environment. “We are thankful to our partner, the IWF, for creating the reporting portal,” says Patrick Mutimushi, ZICTA’s director general. According to him, it enhances the “nation’s ability to mitigate online risks”. Mutimushi adds that the portal serves the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. SDG 16.2 is to end “abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children” by 2030.

Susie Hargreaves, the chief executive of the IWF, says that the “only effective way to fight sexual abuse imagery” on the internet is “through strong, committed partnership and a global approach.” The international NGO is cooperating with local law agencies, children’s rights organisations, government agencies and internet service providers in Zambia. The initiative is also supported by major private-sector corporations: Airtel Zambia, MTN Zambia and the Zambia Telecommunication Company (ZAMTEL).

Zambia is the 24th country where the IWF has set up such a portal. It plans to double the number by 2020. Zambia is the sixth country to benefit from a prestigious international award granted by the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children.

Humphrey Nkonde is a journalist and media researcher based in Ndola, Zambia.

Zambian Internet Watch Foundation Reporting Portal: