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Child Abuse Header01

Online sexual exploitation of children

What is online sexual exploitation?

Right now, sex offenders around the world - including the UK - are exploiting children without even leaving their homes. 

The vast majority of demand stems from the West, The Telegraph reported this week.

Children are being sexually abused by traffickers, often family members, who share images or videos of the exploitation online.

Many traffickers livestream the abuse for sex offenders to direct, using the same social media platforms we use every day.

This crime is one of the fastest growing forms of human trafficking. In 2022, a new study by IJM and the University of Nottingham Rights Lab found that 1 in every 100 children in the Philippines was abused to create child sexual exploitation materials.

Recommendations to address Livestreamed Child Sexual Abuse

1. Implement Robust Online Safety Act Regulations
Ofcom should implement robust regulations requiring tech companies to prevent, disrupt, and report livestreamed child sexual abuse

2. Strengthen UK Offender Accountability
Ensure UK offenders who pay for and direct livestreamed sexual abuse are prosecuted using the strongest charges, such as under Sex Offences Act 2003, and receive prison sentences commensurate to the gravity of their harm (See Sentencing Bill and Criminal Justice Bill).

3. Facilitate Overseas Survivor Compensation
Develop a transnational framework to provide financial compensation to overseas survivors of child sexual abuse online.

4. Encourage Greater Financial Sector Action
Promote financial sector detection and prevention of child sexual exploitation transactions by 1) encouraging private-to-private sector data collaboration on Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) and 2) ensuring every financial institution with a money transfer service is registered with the appropriate regulatory authority, particularly money service businesses required to register with His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

How we're protecting children from this crime, together

Thanks to the support of people like you, IJM partners with police around the world to:

“I want to advocate and move our cause forward so that no other child is abused.”

- Azalea*, survivor and advocate for the end of online sexual exploitation

Our impact since 2011

But there are still thousands of children trapped in situations of abuse right now.

You can help bring children to safety.

*Figures up to date as of 12/03/24. Source: IJM Centre to End Online Sexual exploitation of Children

You Can Help Send Rescue Today.

When you give a gift today, you’ll be fighting slavery, violence, and injustice across the globe. Together, we can end slavery and violence in our lifetime.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support will help send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and have perpetrators held accountable.


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