Child sexual abuse is a hideous crime. For the vast majority of us, the idea of violating, hurting and abusing a child is intolerable. Nonetheless, these crimes are not as rare as we would like to think. Every day, countless children around the world are sexually abused and exploited, and images and videos of the abuse are circulated.
We cannot afford to remain passive, and we cannot afford to act alone. This is not a phenomenon that any country can tackle on its own. Modern technology allows criminals to move images, videos and contacts quickly between jurisdictions, exploiting legal loopholes and the anonymity the Internet provides. International cooperation is essential if we want to stand a chance of rescuing victims, putting a stop to continuing re-victimization and of finding and prosecuting offenders.
The We Protect Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online, resulting from the merger between We Protect and the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online, tries to respond to these challenges.
We Protect was created in 2014 in the UK as a global multi-stakeholder response to combating online child abuse and exploitation. Its participants were signatories to a global statement of action, to which 98 countries, 62 civil society organisations, international organisations, and 53 leading technology companies had already committed to.
The Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online
The Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online was launched on 5 December 2012.
- It aims to raise standards worldwide and unite efforts around the world to better combat online sexual crimes against children.
- Its members commit to pursue concrete actions to enhance victim protection, identify and prosecute offenders, raise awareness, and reduce the availability of child pornography online and the re-victimization of children.
Ministers and representatives from participating countries, experts from law enforcement authorities, the private sector, victim advocacy groups and frontline organisations assessed what progress has been made in the first 2 years of the Global Alliance and how to expand the fight against global proliferation of child sexual abuse online in the future.
Participating countries provided updates on their progress towards achieving the Global Alliance’s policy targets as well as detailed input on the evolving threat of child sexual abuse online, outlining the major changes that national law enforcement perceives.
Endorsing the Declaration on the Launch of the Global Alliance against child sexual abuse online, the countries committed to 4 key policy targets:
- enhancing efforts to identify victims and ensure that they receive the necessary assistance, support and protection
- enhancing efforts to investigate cases of child sexual abuse online and identify and prosecute offenders
- increasing awareness among children, parents, educators and the community at large about the risks
- reducing the availability of child pornography online and the re-victimisation of children
Guiding principles annexed to the Declaration set out concrete operational goals and examples of potential actions that participants could undertake to reach these goals.
Participants in the Global Alliance submitted commitments to undertake concrete actions in the immediate future to reach the four key policy targets. These commitments also included a detailed baseline, providing an overview of actions they already undertook. The choice of actions for reaching the overarching goals is left to each country.
- Declaration on the Launch of the Global Alliance against child sexual abuse online
- Guiding principles (annexed to the Declaration)
- Report summarising the commitments that participating countries have undertaken
- Second Global Alliance Report
- 2015 Threat assessment report
- 2021 Global Threat Assessment report
Participants produced progress reports on the actions they committed to, on the occasion of the Second Ministerial Conference, in September 2014.
The documents available below – both commitments and progress reports – reflect the choice and views of the individual country.