The growth of child sexual abuse and exploitation online is not an inevitable consequence of technological advances, it is a preventable problem and we must prevent it.
1. Our approach
The Alliance’s approach to preventing child sexual abuse online must be similar to the long-term and resilient public health approaches that worked to reduce deaths caused by smoking or save lives through increasing car safety.
Child sexual exploitation and abuse online must similarly be seen as a public health emergency, requiring sustainable, preventative action.
2. Challenges to progress
We must make the case for a coordinated global response as the most efficient and effective way to end child sexual abuse online.
But obstacles to progress exist:
- Complexity of the problem: involving different elements of government, business and society
- Under-reporting: knowledge gaps also likely to grow with increased end-to-end encryption
- Disagreements on approaches: silos and distrust limit collaboration and transparency
- Limited resources: prevention and horizon scanning are globally under-served.
The Alliance exists to tackle these problems. Members are supported to achieve more together than they could alone, through pooling and sharing knowledge and data, solving common problems and making a powerful case for global change.
3. How we can turn the tide
Theory of change
We can provide greatest support for our members by acting as a force multiplier and catalyst for a more effective and inclusive global response. We support our members to achieve more together than they could alone, through pooling and sharing knowledge and data, solving problems and making a powerful case for change.
We will make a compelling moral, operational and financial case for action, investing in research to quantify the impact and cost of abuse online and understanding future trends and risks.
The Alliance brings together experts to develop policies and solutions to protect children from sexual abuse online. We seek to deliver impact through four key objectives:
We gather, refine and disseminate the latest understanding of the issue.
We drive cross-sector and cross-border cooperation and knowledge sharing with and between our members to enable better global responses.
We engage groups of survivors, children and young people active within our membership to embed their perspectives in our research, advocacy and governance.
We present senior decision-makers with the strongest possible case for greater action and investment so that they will recognise the need for collective action.
How we will deliver this change
Measuring how the issue is developing worldwide
Biennial meeting of members, boosting advocacy and collaboration
High level outcomes by end of 2025
These outcomes will be enabled by an effective corporate team, strong governance, excellent stakeholder engagement (including reference groups) and sustainable fundraising.
Knowledge: members understand the scale and nature of child sexual abuse online and what they can do to respond.
Empowerment: victims and survivors and children inform and shape the global response to child sexual abuse online.
Advocacy: members take action to deliver an effective and well-resourced response to child sexual abuse online at a national and transnational level.
Collaboration: more practical cooperation between our members enables a better response to child sexual abuse, drawing on global, diverse experience and learning.
Across all four objectives: Innovative and effective measurement, evaluation and learning, shared with our membership and enabling improved understanding of impact and delivery.
4. What has been done so far: 2019-2022
The Alliance established itself as the largest and most diverse multi-sector network dedicated to ending child sexual abuse online, with 250+ members in more than 100 countries, including governments, intergovernmental and civil society organisations and private sector organisations
We have managed to make a lot of progress in the last three years, beginning to turn the tide to child sexual exploitation and abuse online.
- The third Alliance Global Threat Assessment was launched in October 2021, the most comprehensive and wide-ranging so far.
- In partnership with UNICEF, we undertook a review of our Model National Response, culminating in the Framing the Future report. 90% of the countries analysed used the MNR as a reference for good practice.
- We worked with ECPAT International on the Voices of Survivors project, listening to the perspectives of child sexual abuse and exploitation online and understanding the effectiveness of the social care response. We have also welcomed a new survivor advocate to our Board in December 2022.
- Our Global Summit, held in June 2022, was our largest and most representative advocacy event, with 400 in-person delegates and nearly 500 virtually. Our global reach and influence were highlighted by the April 2021 G7 Internet Safety Principles which highlighted the “important work” of WeProtect Global Alliance in enhancing a safe online environment.
- We also established a Global Task Force focused on governments launched in October 2022.