Digital development has enabled offenders to produce and share child sexual abuse material at a previously impossible scale. In addition, the last decade’s development of social media platforms and gaming platforms has enabled offenders to reach children directly, and abuse them over the internet without meeting them in person, adding a new dimension to this crime. Live-streaming services, examined closer in this report, has pushed this development further.
Self-produced material, whether voluntarily made or produced through grooming and extortion is on the rise. The images fall within a broad spectrum, from everyday holiday snaps to sexual extortion where victims are forced to take images of themselves.
The Head of Team, Analysis Project Twins, EC3, at Europol comments on this development, based on Europol’s observations of online communication and organisation.
Last week I was invited as a member of the Working Group for Child Online Safety, to attend the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development annual Spring meeting in Silicon Valley.
In our experience it is extremely rare that child sexual abuse material is sold on the internet. Offenders either search for the readily available free material, or they trade images and films with each other.
Michael Sheath from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a UK charity that runs a helpline for people with concerns about negative aspects of their sexuality, comments on findings from the NetClean Report.
Throughout the year we will be sharing insights from our NetClean Report 2018. First out is the introduction penned by Dr. Victoria Baines who reflects on the fight against child sexual abuse as it enters its third decade. Read about how technological development has far outstripped our expectations, and how collaboration and knowledge is setting the agenda in the fight against child sexual abuse.
Last week we launched the NetClean Report 2018, and I am very pleased with the attention that it got. Not only because of the hard work that goes into our surveys and analysis of the results, but more importantly, because the information that we produce together with leading experts, is vital in the fight against child sexual abuse.