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Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA)

An escalating problem that is alarmingly underreported

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One of the most critical child protection issues of our time

Our latest report summarizes a survey of our members about the contacts they have received regarding Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (OCSEA). This research was done in collaboration with our partner, Tech Matters, with the aim of better understanding the characteristics of victims of OCSEA and their barriers to reporting it.

We also aim to identify potential issues with the categorization of such cases, which could provide points for intervention, with the ultimate goal of improving the reliability of child helpline data. 

We found that although many child helplines report being the first point of contact for victims of online child sexual exploitation and abuse – sometimes as early as one week after the incident – there are still substantial difficulties in disclosure and with categorizing cases. We outline several important recommendations on how to tackle underreporting and how to improve data categorization and logging.

As online child sexual exploitation and abuse grows rapidly, our role is clear: to improve the accessibility of child helplines to every child and young person who needs support, and to amplify their voices so that we can detect and prevent such crimes from occurring.

Research Report

Advocacy Brief, summarizing the key findings
and detailing our key recommendations