Survey report of parents in Latin America and Africa

Economist Impact Survey 2023

Economist Impact surveyed more than 1,000 parents/guardians of children under the age of 18 across eight countries in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The study aims to understand both how children are engaging with their parents to stay safer online and the changes that parents believe need to occur to protect children against child sexual exploitation and abuse online.

Key findings

According to their parents, over half of children have access to the internet through a personal mobile device. Overall, 55% of respondents said their child/children had spoken to them about experiencing a potential online sexual harm. This was more common among parents in Sub-Saharan Africa than parents in Latin America.
Overall, 50% of parents/guardians said that their children told them about experiencing an online sexual harm when they were under the age of nine. Children were most likely to tell their parents about online sexual harms perpetrated by someone they did not know. Parents were most likely to block the person with whom their child had these interactions or change their child’s privacy settings.
Parents felt/feel the biggest obstacle in supporting their children when they experience an online sexual harm was/is children not recognising that their experience is harmful. One in two parents/guardians do not think social media and gaming platforms are doing enough to keep children safe online. As a result, nearly two-thirds of parents feel that the responsibility to keep children safe online falls to them.


Age at which respondents who had experienced online sexual harms during childhood or whose children experienced online sexual harms during childhood had these experiences, %.

Parents perceptions EI survey arial 01

Read the report