Online child sexual abuse content spiked 95% during pandemic: report

admin November 10, 2021
Updated 2021/11/10 at 10:54 AM

COVID-19 has led to a major increase in child sexual exploitation and abuse online, according to the WeProtect Global Alliance’s Global Threat Assessment report 2021, which was released on Tuesday.

WeProtect Global Alliance is a global movement of over 200 governments, business sector firms, and civil society organisations working together to change the global response to online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

The paper included a meta-analysis of data from a number of worldwide research on the subject. The statistics demonstrate that reporting of child sexual exploitation and internet abuse has reached an all-time high in the last two years. It asserted that COVID-19 generated a “perfect storm” of circumstances that fueled an increase in child sexual exploitation and abuse throughout the world.

“Our global ability to react is being overwhelmed by this ongoing expansion.” In their prologue, Iain Drennan, Executive Director, and Ernie Allen, Chair, WeProtect Global Alliance, remarked, “Child sexual abuse is a chronically underfunded problem.”

Another trend that challenges the present reaction is the surge in child’self-generated’ sexual content, with the Internet Watch Foundation noting a 77 percent increase in child’self-generated’ sexual material from 2019 to 2020, according to the research.

Economist Impact conducted a worldwide survey of the childhood experiences of more than 5,000 young people (aged 18 to 20) from 54 countries as part of the report. During their youth, almost 54% of the respondents had been subjected to at least one episode of online sexual harm. During their youth, more than a third of respondents (34%) were requested to perform something sexually explicit online that they were uncomfortable with. According to the study, transgender or non-binary, LGBQ+, and/or handicapped respondents were more likely to have experienced online sexual harm as children, according to the study.

A study of technology businesses revealed that the majority were using techniques to identify child sexual abuse content, while just 37% were using technologies to detect internet grooming.

During the pandemic, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reported a 106 percent increase in child sexual exploitation complaints to its global CyberTipline.The NCMEC discovered a 95 percent increase in searches for child sexual abuse material during the COVID-19 shutdown in India.

The research recommends prioritising anti-abuse actions and building secure online settings for children, as well as urging everyone involved in child protection to work together to substantially improve reaction times.


Source: The Hindu

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