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'Falling Short'

Sentences that fit the crime are needed for U.K. sex offenders who pay to livestream the sexual exploitation of Filipino children

The livestreaming of child sexual abuse, paid for and demanded by
sex offenders around the world, is devastating the
lives of children. According to INTERPOL, the crime is growing globally.

Despite the UK’s robust law enforcement efforts, International Justice Mission’s review and analysis of 15 cases reveals that sentences for UK demand-side sex offenders who pay to livestream sexual abuse of Filipino children fail to reflect the gravity of their crimes, leaving survivors empty handed in their pursuit of justice.

IJM's new review titled 'Falling Short: Demand-Side Sentencing for Online Sexual Exploitation of Children: Composite Case Review, Analysis, and Recommendations for the United Kingdom', outlines key findings and makes nine recommendations, backed by Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton, Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP and charities.

Read 'Falling Short' IJM's latest report - released 8th November 2020

The report identifies a trend of lenient sentences for UK nationals who directed and paid for livestreamed sexual abuse of Filipino children, on average they served only two years, four months in prison (pre-parole period). Some offenders will spend less time in prison than they spent abusing their victims.

Stronger sentences are required for these offenders in order to:

  1. End impunity for demand-side sex offenders
  2. Provide justice for OSEC survivors
  3. Protect children globally from OSEC by disrupting and restraining offenders, and to
  4. Change societal norms by reflecting the gravity of OSEC and severe harm done to victims

The report makes a series of practical recommendations to strengthen legislation, policy and practice in order to strengthen sentences, including:

  1. Amend Sentencing Guidelines and legislation to better reflect the exploitative nature of OSEC crimes and the severe harm caused to victims.
  2. Prosecute and Convict OSEC Offenders under Child Sexual Exploitation Offences within the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
  3. Amplify the Experience of Survivors at sentencing.

For more recommendations, read the Falling Short report or the summary here.

International Justice Mission (IJM) is a global organisation that protects people in poverty from violence. IJM and our partners are helping local authorities to protect more than 400 million people from violence.

Learn more about IJM

As the largest anti-slavery organisation in the world, IJM partners with local authorities in 21 program offices in 13 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and other forms of abuse against people in poverty. Our model works side-by-side with local authorities and governments to rescue and restore survivors, hold perpetrators accountable in local courts, and strengthen the public justice system so it can better protect people from violence. This model is replicable and has worked to reduce modern day slavery and violence in programs against commercial sexual exploitation of children, among others. IJM has seen the prevalence of trafficking reduce by rates as high as 70-80% in places where we've worked.

Read more of IJM's findings and studies here.

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