CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN ETHIOPIA

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The Women and Children Affairs Bureau in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, says more than 100 girls and boys have been raped since the outbreak of Covid-19, which authorities attribute to school closures.

Head of the Women and Children Affairs Bureau, Almaz Abraham, says 101 girls and boys have been raped in the past two months since the schools have closed, adding that this has played a major role in the increase of sexual violence in the East African country. 

sexual crimes only come to light once the victims show signs of pregnancy.

"Men who used to practise different habits outside their homes are now doing them to their children when they stay at home. 

Child sexual abuse, using children for sexual gratification of adult, is a criminal act committed against children which probably is one of the least acknowledged and least explored forms of child abuse in Ethiopia.

   The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) explicitly states that sexual acts are assumed to be crime and punishable by the law. It asserts the child's right to be protected against all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation including being forced to engage in unlawful sexual activities, prostitution and pornography (1). Although almost three decades have passed since its recognition, researchers have not yet reached at a universal consensus on which acts to count as child sexual abuse and which are not. Scholars in this area generalize that it is a very difficult task to estimate any form of deviance in the general population particularly sexual offending targeted against children (2). In particular, finding exact number of child sexual abuse cases actually occurring is almost impossible (3). The problem of obtaining accurate statistics on the prevalence of child and adolescence sexual abuse can be attributed to several factors. For example, inconsistencies in the definitions given to what constitute child sexual abuse (4); it is committed in “complete secrecy” and most victim children do not report as they are “too ashamed to talk about it.” (5)