Alerts sent to every citizen encourage use of portal where illegal images and videos can be flagged up anonymously.
Text messages urging people to report online child abuse were sent to every Zambian national on Tuesday, as the country launched a crackdown on illegal images.
Zambia is the latest southern African country to set up a portal for reporting abusive images or videos that allows members of the public to report online content anonymously. Disclosures will be analysed by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a British charity that works with internet companies, governments and law enforcement to remove illegal images.
The initiative is intended to create stronger safeguards as internet access widens across Zambia, where an estimated one in five people are online.
“Increasingly, children in Zambia have access to mobile phones and mobile internet. Their safety online is paramount,” said Muyeba Chikonde, the high commissioner for Zambia in the UK, who explained that some people were reluctant to come forward. “[People] also get scared to [speak out] – tomorrow you are a witness, and all these issues.”