Online Sexual Exploitation of Children is Rising
There is a global surge in the online sexual exploitation of children since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To give a perspective, experts at global agencies like EUROPOL and Missingkids has experienced a 106% increase in the global online sexual exploitation of children. Worldwide, there has been a rise in traffic searching for child sexual abuse content.
Lockdown globally has meant people are spending more time online, and the volume of digital content being produced is increasing rampantly, making it harder to scrutinize.
Over 1.5 billion students worldwide have been impacted by school closures, leaving many vulnerable to sexual predators. Taking advantage of youngsters spending more time unsupervised online, perpetrators are seeking to groom and exploit children through sexual coercion and sextortion (see Trend Micro, FBI, and CNN for information).
Human traffickers and other abusers are using millions of low-income families from different countries in cybersex trafficking due to the economic fallout of COVID-19.
What do You Need to Combat this Type of Exploitation?
- Responsive reporting portals and hotlines where suspected abuse can be reported;
- Trained police who respond quickly, effectively, and sensitively;
- Well-equipped and adapted criminal justice systems to prosecute and incarcerate the convicted perpetrators;
- Adequately resourced organizations to support for survivors long term and those at risk;
- Awareness-raising campaigns in partnership with tech companies and other relevant organizations to educate about online harms and avenues for reporting;
- Organizations that train childen, teens, and adults to protect themselves (see Kidpower.org for a great example);
- Laws and policies that place a duty of care on tech companies to protect users of their services and products.
Protecting children online is a part of our responsibilities as humans. Protecting you and your family is apart of our purpose.
Join the movement #onlinechildsafety #privacyfirst