Report Exploitation
community engagement
IJM launches global campaign calling for improved detection and reporting of online child sexual exploitation
As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable children face an additional threat at home: being exploited by their own caregivers for easy money from online sex offenders.
Stock photo. Not an actual survivor.
Mon Aug 02 20213 min read

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable children face an additional threat at home: being exploited by their own caregivers for easy money from online sex offenders. With this crime committed in the privacy of homes, trafficking to create child sexual exploitation materials (CSEM) is a hidden crime that often lasts years before detection and disruption.

As part of efforts to ensure timely law enforcement intervention, IJM has launched #Detect2Protect, a global campaign urging the tech and financial sectors to develop and deploy tools and systems that enhance detection and reporting of online child sexual exploitation.

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Led by IJM's Center to End Online Sexual Exploitation of Children, the campaign kicks off alongside a local awareness effort to increase community reporting of this form of trafficking in the Philippines. IJM partnered with TikTok for this grassroots campaign called #Report2Protect.

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Tech and financial institutions play a crucial role in early detection and reporting of online sexual exploitation, including livestreaming of child sexual abuse on encrypted platforms. Innovative safety tech companies have shown it's possible to detect and disrupt livestreaming abuse as it happens. The broader tech sector should expand its efforts to protect children by adopting these or similar tools," said John Tanagho, Executive Director of IJM's Center to End Online Sexual Exploitation of Children.

Lack of detection and reporting of first-generation child abuse content, including livestreaming abuse, contributes to a massive date gap in the scale of child trafficking to create CSEM.

In response to this, IJM's Center is undertaking the Scale of Harm project to develop a method to estimate the prevalence of trafficking to create CSEM in the Philippines and later in other countries. It has convened an External Advisory Council of 24 world-class experts, researchers, and field practitioners from tech, financial, government, and non-government child protection organizations. The Center retained the University of Nottingham's Rights Lab, the world's largest group of human trafficking and modern-day slavery researchers, to advise on the development of a research methodology.

Alongside this effort toward measuring the crime's prevalence, the Center has encouraged cross-industry data collaboration to swiftly spot online child sexual exploitation. It has developed a list of indicators of livestreaming abuse for tech and financial institutions.

Through the #Detect2Protect campaign, IJM hopes to pave the way for stronger resolve across tech and financial industries to proactively detect, disrupt and report this crime before child victims suffer devastating trauma.

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