About the the problem

A complex problem
without borders

The spread of child sexual abuse material is a complex problem without borders. Since everything is connected, technology is an increasingly important part of the solution. Companies, organisations and Internet Service Providers are in a unique position to help. In fact, companies are one of few channels other than law enforcement that can help locate individuals who have a sexual interest in children. The workplace is not immune to the problem – experience shows that 1 in 1,000 people look at child sexual abuse material while at work.

What is Child Sexual Abuse Material
and how is it spread?

What is child sexual abuse material?

Child pornography is not the correct term to use. This has nothing to do with porn. Each image or video is documented sexual abuse of a child and depicts the worst moment of that child’s life. Therefore the correct term is child sexual abuse material or child sexual exploitation material.

Each image or video is documented sexual abuse of a child and depicts the worst moment of that child’s life. When the material spreads across the world the offense is repeated again and again. 80% of the material display children below the age of 10 years.

The production and circulation of child sexual abuse material is a problem that exists in all social classes, family structures, environments and workplaces. According to the UN, 750,000 people are looking at child sexual abuse material on the Internet at any given moment.

It is not a harmless act to look at child sexual abuse material. It is not something that you do, unless you have a sexual interest in children. There is a strong link between watching this material and sexually abusing children.

The first step is to protect children from being abused and that’s why finding the material first to uncover the victims, is so important.

By blocking access to this material, you stop the re-victimisation and by detecting child sexual abuse material, those with a sexual interest in children can be found. Most importantly, by finding the material and uncover victims, we can protect children and stop abuse.

The result of locating individuals who have a sexual interest in children could save children from ongoing, as well as future, abuse. Studies show that there is a strong correlation between watching sexual abuse material and actually committing hands-on child sexual abuse.

How is it spread?

Child sexual abuse material is illegal to distribute, download and view in most countries. It is also the reason why distributors and consumers try to avoid being discovered and the explanation for trying to conceal the material on the internet.  Still, the spread of child sexual abuse material is something that is constantly increasing. It has grown into a mass market with the Internet as a distribution channel and revenue in millions of millions.

File sharing is the most common method of distributing child sexual abuse material.  Other common ways to distribute this material is through darknet /TOR, social media, cloud based services and instant messaging. 50-80 % of the material is found through P2P and file sharing. Read more about the most common methods to share child sexual abuse material.

If you want to read more about this issue, we recommend the NetClean Report. Which, in addition to statistics also contains information from several experts within this area.

persons look at child sexual abuse material while at work.

of those who look at child sexual abuse material also abuse children.

of the offenders abuse children that they have a close relationship with.

“Child sexual abuse is a global problem that will only be stopped by a serious global effort. Success depends on all of us!”

Anna Borgström, Head of NetClean

The Netclean Report

The NetClean Report is an annual publication on child sexual abuse crime. It provides valuable insights into the experiences of law enforcement professionals working with child sexual exploitation cases.

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