Global Threat Assessment 2019: working together to end the sexual exploitation of children online

Child sexual abuse Internet access Online abuse

The purpose of this report is to demonstrate the nature, scale and complexity of online child sexual exploitation (OCSE) in order to support a broad mobilisation – compelling nation states, the global technology industry and the third sector to find new ways of working together to combat this rapidly evolving threat. The WePROTECT Model National Response provides guidance and support to countries and organisations to help them build their response to OCSE.

Key findings

  • Of the top 20 countries for relative internet growth last year, 19 were from the Global South, where advances have brought these countries to technology parity with the Global North without the corresponding investment in upgrading education, legislation, social services and law enforcement services.
  • A consequence of the rapid growth in device and internet access is the proportionate increase in the number of adults with a sexual interest in children who are now online, and in the number of children at risk of exposure to these individuals through unsupervised online interactions.
  • The growth of ‘encryption by default’, driven by increased public awareness of online security risks and the desire to protect the privacy of private communications, is further enabling Surface Web offending. This enables more offenders, including those who are less technically aware, to share child sexual abuse material, tips and tradecraft securely and anonymously.




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