Global Taskforce on Child Sexual Abuse Online

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WeProtect Global Alliance – Press release, Summit announcement

June 2, 2022

The European Union, African Union and seventeen governments from around the world have joined forces with WeProtect Global Alliance to establish a new Global Taskforce on Child Sexual Abuse Online.

Responding to growing concern about the increase in child sexual abuse online, WeProtect Global Alliance has established the international Taskforce to promote improved cooperation and collaboration among governments.

The Global Taskforce, which is the first of its kind, will:

  • Develop and drive a global coordinated response to child sexual abuse online;
  • Secure engagement at national, regional and global levels;
  • Showcase progress and champion best / emerging practice;
  • Influence and contribute to key WeProtect Global Alliance products and membership commitments.

WeProtect Global Alliance is founded on the principle that no single entity, whether it be the largest country or the wealthiest company, can address this problem alone. Online abuse is a crime without borders and we have to tackle the innovation of perpetrators who seek to take advantage of vulnerabilities in our protective frameworks.

Governments around the world continue to draft new legislation to child sexual exploitation and abuse online and other forms of online abuse. The different laws and proposals include varying approaches to regulation and reflect different regional contexts.

This new Global Taskforce of governments could help to identify gaps and opportunities in legislative frameworks and facilitate the collaboration needed to close loopholes and ensure there are no safe havens for the facilitation or hosting of child sexual abuse online.

The Taskforce will work alongside the Alliance’s other reference groups for private sector, civil society and law enforcement members to develop a transnational, cross-sector coordinated response to child sexual abuse online. It will also create a mechanism for existing international government initiatives working on this issue, such as the Five Country Ministerial, European Union, African Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the G7, to feed into the strategic direction of WeProtect Global Alliance.

Membership

The founding members of the Global Taskforce are:

  • The European Commission (Chair)
  • African Union (Vice Chair)
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • England and Wales
  • Finland
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Republic of Moldova
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • The Philippines
  • Sweden
  • The United Arab Emirates
  • The United States of America

Membership of the Global Taskforce will be open to any WeProtect Global Alliance government member, of which there are currently 99.

Meetings will take place at least twice per year; the inaugural meeting is expected to take place in October 2022.


Background

Child sexual abuse online continues to challenge each and every country in the world. Our latest Global Threat Assessment demonstrated that the scale, severity and complexity of child sexual abuse online is increasing. The world is experiencing a rapid growth of mobile device ownership and internet access. Alongside this, the growing availability of advanced anonymisation tools and encryption enables offenders to operate with confidence that they will not be caught.

On 1-2 June 2022, the WeProtect Global Alliance convened leaders from government, the private sector and civil society for our Global Summit, Turning the Tide on Child Sexual Abuse Online.

To ensure the momentum from the Summit is the foundation for action that will make a difference to children’s lives, the Alliance announced a new Global Taskforce on Child Sexual Abuse Online to drive transnational cooperation and deliver a truly global, coordinated and strategic response to this urgent issue.

WeProtect Global Alliance exists to facilitate cross-border and cross-sector collaboration and eradicate the threat of online-facilitated child sexual abuse.

As of June 2022, the independent Alliance is comprised of 99 governments, 55 private sector companies, 70 civil society organisations and nine intergovernmental institutions – all of which have signed up to these membership commitments.

The Alliance is the largest and most diverse global movement dedicated to ending child sexual exploitation and abuse online.

WeProtect Global Alliance is founded on the principle that no single entity, whether it be the largest country or the wealthiest company, can address this problem alone. Online abuse is a crime without borders and we have to tackle the innovation of perpetrators who seek to take advantage of vulnerabilities in our protective frameworks.

The WeProtect Global Alliance Model National Response (MNR) and Global Strategic Response (GSR) frameworks have already helped many countries to progress their efforts to protect children online. A large-scale review of the MNR, launched at the Summit, has shown that, whilst good practice is occurring in many countries, much work is yet to be done and the need for a coordinated international response remains a top priority.

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