Ghanaian Police Launches First Digital Child Protection Forensic Lab in SSA
Ghana Police Service authorities, supported by partners such as UNICEF, the Ministry of Communication and the Home Office, have ordered a new digital forensics laboratory for child protection in Accra, The capital of the country.
The new digital child protection forensic laboratory is the first to be launched in West Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa at large. The laboratory was set up to prevent and counter online abuse, trafficking and exploitation of children by criminal entities.
Ghana Police Service Criminal Investigations Department Director General Ken Yeboah, a police commissioner, said the lab will strengthen the investigative capacity of Ghanaian police against criminal acts of abuse and violence against women. children on the Internet.
“This lab is also unique in that it has an open source intelligence lab for cyber patrol and online intelligence gathering to aid investigation and intelligence gathering,” he said. declared.
Child trafficking cases in Africa
Children are often victims of child trafficking across Africa, sold for prostitution and forced labor, as sex slaves, domestic servants or forced into other social vices. A study compiled by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) found that children between the ages of 12 and 16 are the main victims of human trafficking in Africa, especially girls.
According to the study, all 53 countries in Africa have reported cases of child trafficking caused largely by extreme poverty, insurgency and economic instability on the continent.
In Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, girls under the age of 8 have been sold as married children for their “purity”. Several hundred girls from Chibok in northern Nigeria have also been kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents.
Predators are now using the internet to perpetrate such infamous crimes against children in various African states.
Online predators have taken advantage of the current exponential increase in cell phone and internet use in Ghana to access, groom, abuse and exploit girls and boys.
Anne-Claire Dufay, Unicef Deputy Delegate
Working with Interpol
Ghana’s police service said it expects to be linked to Interpol’s international child sexual exploitation database through its digital forensic laboratory unit.
By connecting to Interpol’s international sexual exploitation of children (ICSE) image and video database, Ghanaian police will be able to share data on child sexual abuse cases in the country.
The ICSE database is an intelligence and investigative tool that will allow the Ghana Police Service to have considerable influence in its efforts to end cybercrime cases of abuse, intimidation and extortion against the children. It will also strengthen its online protection of children and help facilitate international police cooperation and the fight against crime.
More and more African countries will seek to follow in Ghana’s footsteps in their efforts to strengthen their security against child cybercrime.
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