Online Child Sexual Abuse

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Child abuse and neglect is a significant global problem with a serious impact on the victims’ physical and mental health, well-being and development throughout their lives. Out of the many parental causes of child abuse, the important reason is lack of awareness and knowledge regarding it.

Going trend in Nepal is, children having easy access to the internet resulting online child sexual abuse cases have increased in the country significantly which is unnoticed.

According to surveys, children of urban areas are more prone to online sexual abuse as they are provided with easy access to the internet without any monitoring from parents. The parents do have a satisfactory level of knowledge regarding online child abuse.

Sexual abuse online and travel & tourism are emerging issues in Nepal. Nepal somehow is growing market for the sex tourism. Lack of awareness amongst the concern authorities and community creating situation to grow, and discreet nature of activities allowing it to be invisible to the mainstream society. Lack of adequate law and policy adding Nepal in the list of sex tourism destinations.

Sexual abuse images and possibilities of online sexual exploitation of children – linked with street sex work, CSEC in various establishments and child sex tourism. Children have easy access and allowed to use mobile phones and internet leading using Facebook and other medium to link with unknown people to virtual friends allowing abusers to interact with the young people and sharing nude pictures, adult videos other materials.

Children working in restaurants and hotels (entertainment sectors) are vulnerable of being abused easily to secure their job thus their photo is taken, abused and offer money for sexual acts. This indicates the high possibility of customers producing sexually abusive images of children. Children are not aware of where and how these images are used.

There are no effective policy to address CSEC, cybercrime, child pedophile and other child related issues. Online child abuse and travel & tourism are still emerging issues in Nepal demanding law enforcement agencies to be more sensitive to the issues but they are unaware about the situation’s existence. Even if case has been filed or perpetrators are panelized, there are no adequate law to address the issues. Top of it, in Nepal, CSEC children are negatively statuses as criminals and adding difficulties are their age: often below the age of employment and sexual consent, the conditions of work are often illegal, the hotels/lodges/restaurants where they work are often illegally set up establishments.