Framing the future

A review of the Model National Response

Children today face a sustained threat of child sexual exploitation and abuse online. WeProtect Global Alliance’s latest Global Threat Assessment shows that the scale and complexity of this threat are increasing. 

To tackle this growing borderless threat, a coordinated global multi-stakeholder response is needed. To build such a response, WeProtect Global Alliance (at that time WePROTECT) launched its Model National Response (MNR) at the 2015 Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Over six years since its introduction, the Alliance has partnered with UNICEF to undertake a review across 42 Alliance countries to document diverse national responses, identify examples of good practices, highlight challenges and practical solutions, and set out future directions for the refinement of the MNR.

The report “Framing The Future” is a review of the MNR that sets out how and where the MNR has been implemented in the six years since its introduction across 42 Alliance countries. The report does not intend to evaluate or assess country progress, capabilities or quality of services, but rather to illustrate efforts towards global learning and exchange.

The scale of the threat is increasing

Governments have stepped up efforts

After the launch of the Model National Response, many countries started developing coordinated multi-stakeholder national responses to tackle child sexual abuse online. They introduced new legislative and policy frameworks, strengthened criminal justice systems and victim services and promoted victims’ and survivors’ dignity and rights.

MNR Domain 2

But gaps still remain

Critical frontline services are often under-resourced and over-burdened.

Social taboos and harmful norms negatively impact responses to and prevention from cases of child sexual abuse online. A lack of data and evidence hampers efforts to track progress and improve responses.

This requires action. The report calls on governments and partners to:

Invest in comprehensive national responses to prevent and respond to online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Accelerate global collaboration among governments and companies to strengthen prevention and response efforts.

Strengthen the use and collection of data and evidence to enhance effective, sustainable national efforts to protect children.

Share best practices and lessons learned to support national responses to protect children from online sexual exploitation and abuse.

Promote the global implementation of the Model National Response framework, and its continuous refinement based on lessons learned.

Read more in our Framing The Future briefing paper.

This report was written by Afrooz Kaviani Johnson, Child Protection Specialist, Programme Group, UNICEF, under the overall guidance of Chloe Setter, Head of Policy, and Paul Ghent, Chief Operating Officer, WeProtect Global Alliance.

WeProtect Global Alliance and UNICEF would like to sincerely thank the governments who provided valuable information and insights through detailed survey responses and feedback on an earlier version of this report.