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Global Threat Assessment 2023

Assessing the scale and scope of child sexual abuse online

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Understanding the growing threats to transform the global response

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Turning the tide on current abuse trends will only be possible with increased prioritisation and commitment from all stakeholders involved in the response, empowered and enabled by maturing legislation.

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Alongside the report, we’ve published:

Economist Impact Survey 2023

Parents’ perceptions of their children’s exposure to online sexual harms

A study of parents/ guardians in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa

Conducted by Economist Impact

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#MyVoiceMySafety: exploring children’s perceptions of safety and risks online

A global poll of children aged 7-18

Conducted together with the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

Analysing online threats

The volume of child sexual abuse online continues to increase and intensify, while new trends and threats emerge. Better understand the key threats to child safety.

Year-on-year escalation

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87% increase in volume of child sexual abuse material reports since 2019

Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 2023

Emerging threats

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New forms of abuse, like financial sexual extortion and AI-generated imagery, underscore the urgent need for Safety by Design

Online grooming trends

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45 minutes: average time to lock a child into high-risk grooming conversation gaming online, it can take as little as 19 seconds

Source: Crisp, 2023

Recommendations to prevent abuse online

To prevent more children from coming to harm, governments, online service providers, civil society organisations, and all responders are urgently asked to: 

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Public health approach to prevent child sexual abuse online

The response needs more focus on preventing children being abused online, including tackling the root causes of offenders and more investment in Safety by Design initiatives.

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Centre children’s rights and perspectives in the response

Incorporating children’s voices and a child-centred approach will enhance our understanding of the threat and address gaps in the response.

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Align legislation globally to keep children safe online

Technology-neutral legislation can allow governments and regulators to adapt – helping tackle threats to online child safety without hindering innovation.

What children & survivors say

We asked children and survivors around the world for their opinions on the findings presented in the Global Threat Assessment and what needs to be done so they can feel safe online.

Read the full report

How our understanding of threats have evolved

WeProtect Global Alliance produces a Global Threat Assessment report every two years to assess and track the changing scale and nature of child sexual exploitation and abuse online, in order to inform and direct the global response.

Access previous reports Global Threat Assessments below:


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Global Threat Assessment 2018

Threats evolving rapidly, more global solutions needed​


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Global Threat Assessment 2019

Increasing scale, severity & complexity of abuse, need for enhanced response


Global Threat Assessment 2021
Global Threat Assessment 2021

Harm is growing and diversifying, fuelling a sustained rise in offending


Global Threat Assessment 2023 ENG Cover
Global Threat Assessment 2023

A shift towards prevention is the only viable route to curb the sustained escalation of child sexual abuse online

A collaborative effort

The Global Threat Assessment report was produced in partnership with PA Consulting and Crisp, and features primary research conducted with Economist Impact and the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

PA Consulting
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Thanks to the project Steering Committee with representatives from across our membership and beyond.

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National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
International Justice Mission
Action Against Child Sexual Abuse Initiative logo
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Marie Collins Foundation