The Brighthood conference 2020
We did it! Thank you to everyone who participated and watched this important conference. I hope it inspired you to work harder and enter the decade of action with clear focus to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
This year we streamed the Brighthood conference online to audiences from across the world, and I was gratified to spy in the comments section greetings from different sectors like law enforcement, the private sector, and civil society. We recorded the conference and you can view it here at your leisure.
Our focus this year was on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (2030), and the fact that we have entered a decade of action. We have less than ten years to scale up and galvanise more support for increased and sustained action to meet these goals.
In our focus is goal 16.2 – Ending all forms of abuse, exploitation and violence against children. It is under this heading that we fight the online child sexual abuse crime that is now at a crisis point. Jim Cole, one of our speakers, pointed out that yes, we are dealing with a worldwide pandemic (COVID-19), but the reality is that child exploitation is a pandemic too, and has been for quite some time now. Therefore we need to scale up our activism and our response to this problem.
Brighthood is one of NetClean’s platforms where we bring together experts with knowledge from all areas. One of the key stakeholders that we focus on is the private sector, as it is a powerful collaborator in the response to child sexual exploitation. Businesses have the potential to supply law enforcement with data, to lead on ethical values in development and business, and to be a powerful source in helping to shape and develop better futures for children and communities. Therefore I am pleased that we were able to include powerful and trendsetting businesses like Verizon, VMware, SKF and Nordea amongst our speakers today. They are needed in the decade of action that we face ahead of us.
“We have less than ten years to scale up and galvanise more support for increased and sustained action to meet these goals.”
The conference was opened by keynote speaker H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, whose long standing support for children’s rights has cemented her as a champion of children’s safety online and offline. She spoke about the importance of protecting children in a digital world.
Her speech was a forceful start, pointing to technology as a catalyst for change and highlighting that even though we are protecting each other from COVID-19 by staying at home, we need to ask ourselves who or what is protecting the many children who are more vulnerable now that they and adults are spending more time online. We who work in this industry have all seen reports that show an increase in the volumes of child sexual abuse material that is being downloaded or distributed online during the COVID era, while people have been working from home.
H.M. Queen Silvia’s introductory note was followed by Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN who spoke about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and how the world is working to achieve them, highlighting that now is the right time to intensify this work, and that we must do so through collaboration between governments, civil society and the private sector.
Her speech was followed by speakers from law enforcement, media, academia and industry who all in their significant ways contribute to fighting online child sexual abuse crime. We will follow this post up by short write-ups on their involvement on this issue and how their sectors are working to meet the SDGs.
We will follow this post up by short write-ups on their involvement on this issue and how their sectors are working to meet the SDGs.
Please immerse yourself in the content from the conference. As I said we will follow this post up with a few feature posts. In the next few months you will also be able to take part of data that we have collected regarding the COVID-19 crises in our NetClean Report.