Leveraging International Law to Strengthen the National Legal Framework on Child Sexual Abuse Material in Namibia


  • Sabine Katharina Witting University Leiden, Law School
  • Markus Angula


Child sexual abuse, International children’s rights, Child online safety, Optional Protocol to the CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Namibia, Child Care and Protection Act


With the gazetting of the Regulations of the Child Care and Protection Act 3 of 2015, on 30 January 2019, a crucial regulatory piece of children’s rights in Namibia has finally been operationalised. However, the Act insufficiently addresses new emerging online offences against children such as the possession and distribution of child sexual abuse material, and hence leaves a considerable gap in the protection of children’s rights. As the Namibian Constitution follows a monist approach to international law, this article argues that the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography can be directly applied to complement the national legal framework to prosecute cases of possessing and disseminating child sexual abuse material, while upholding fair-trial principles.

Author Biographies

Sabine Katharina Witting, University Leiden, Law School

Sabine K. Witting is a researcher and PhD candidate at University Leiden, Netherlands, and connected to the Department of Child Law and the Centre for Law and Digital Technologies (eLaw). The title of her research is: 'Child sexual abuse in the digital era - Rethinking legal frameworks and transnational law enforcement collaboration'.

Markus Angula

Markus Angula holds a BJuris degree and an LLB. He has been working as a prosecutor in Namibia for four years and is currently serving a legal internship with an international organisation for children’s rights.