New NetClean Report released today shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected child sexual abuse crime

New NetClean Report released today shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected child sexual abuse crime
26 January, 2021 NetClean
NEWS 2021/01/26

New NetClean Report released today shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected child sexual abuse crime

The NetClean Report – COVID-19 Impact 2020, released today, shows that the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global increase in online child sexual abuse crime, and also affected law enforcement capacity to investigate these types of crimes.

Nearly five hundred police officers from 39 countries, the majority from the US and Europe, participated in the report. Two in three police officers reported that the fallout from the pandemic, social restrictions, lockdowns and school closures, has affected online child sexual abuse crime. Half of the surveyed police officers report that the pandemic has affected law enforcement capacity to investigate these types of crimes.

According to the surveyed police officers, the increase is a result of both adults and children spending more time at home and online, and children often spending more unsupervised time online. Children being isolated with their offenders and removed from mandatory reporters may also have caused an increase in offline child sexual abuse crime.

“The risks associated with lockdowns, school closures and increased time spent online, is something that law enforcement and bodies for child protection warned of early on during the pandemic, and now we can see that these warnings were correct”, said Anna Borgström, CEO of NetClean.

“These are still early indications. We won’t know the full impact of the pandemic on child sexual abuse crime for some years yet, but we need to take these first insights very seriously. We need to learn from these insights so that we can protect children, when and if, in the future, we are forced to go into similar lockdowns and school closures.”

Section two of the report

The report also includes a second section that looks at why businesses and organisations choose to address child sexual abuse material in corporate environments. The interviews in this section showed that the companies’ core drive behind addressing this issue comes from wanting to act ethically. However, as there are many stakeholders in most medium sized and big businesses, there are also a number of other drivers. Read more about these drivers here.

Read the executive summary of the report

Read the full report

Download the report

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