2022: our year in review

15 December 2022

Our vision of a digital world designed to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse still guides our daily work as an Alliance. And with this vision in mind, we kept expanding as an organisation, bringing together experts from all over the world and from different sectors.

We work with our members to break down complex problems and develop policies and solutions to protect children from sexual abuse online.

It has been a very busy and important year in the Alliance’s development.

2022 saw our first Global Summit since we became an independent organisation in April 2020. It was also a year in which our team grew substantially to 11 staff members.

Our achievements as an Alliance over the past year have only been possible through the commitment and cooperation of our over 250 members and key partners.

To reflect back on and celebrate what our global community has achieved, we have summarised some key milestones across our four strategic objectives: knowledge, empowerment, advocacy and collaboration.

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Knowledge

  • We partnered with UNICEF to publish the Framing the Future report, a review of our Model National Response framework. The report sets out how and where this framework has been implemented across 42 Alliance countries in the six years since its introduction.
  • We released an updated version of our Model National Response, reflecting the learnings from the Framing the Future review process.
  • We collaborated with Yoti to publish an intelligence briefing on the role of age verification technology in tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse online.
  • During the course of the year, many members have published opinion pieces and case studies on our website sharing insights and learning from their work to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse online.
  • We co-organised an event about safe digital futures for children: data for change with the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and the European Parliament. It encouraged a conversation on the availability and quality of data related to child sexual exploitation and abuse online.
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Empowerment

  • We published the final report for a research project amplifying the voices of survivors of child sexual abuse online, undertaken with ECPAT International, and six of its country-level members.
  • We welcomed a dedicated Participation Manager, Delali Mortty, whose work ensures the perspectives of survivors and young people are taken into account across the Alliance’s governance, research and advocacy activities.
  • We created a place on our Global Policy Board for survivor representation and held an open appointment process amongst our membership. This led to us welcoming Gabriella Kärnekull Wolfe as our newest Board member from Alliance member Child10. Gabriella is also Sweden’s Ombudsman against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Founder of the survivor organisation ‘Not Your Whore’.
  • Throughout the year, we have worked alongside different survivor-led and survivor-focused organisations across our membership, such as the recently created Brave Movement.
  • Our Civil Society Reference group created a specific task and finish group to look at the involvement of survivors and young people in developing solutions to child sexual abuse online, co-led by the Marie Collins Foundation and the International Justice Mission.
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Advocacy

  • We organised a well-attended webinar on international perspectives to prioritising children in online safety laws to discuss new and emerging online safety laws. Speakers included the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, the UK Minister for Security and Borders, the Australian Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Director of Child Protection at UNICEF and the Director of Coram International.
  • In May, the European Commission proposed a legislation to prevent and combat child sexual exploitation and abuse online. Since then we have taken part in a joint campaign to support the legislation, signed an open letter and provided a response to the consultation on the proposed legislation.
  • We helped organise a panel at the Global Cybersecurity Forum in Riyadh on how we can harness AI to fight and prevent child sexual abuse online. During the event, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding on future collaboration with the Saudi National Cybersecurity Authority.
  • We took part in a roundtable chaired by President Macron on the margins of the Paris Peace Forum, launching a Laboratory for Child Protection Online.
  • We published a policy briefing on the EU Digital Services Act, analysing how the act can better protect children online.
  • We participated in a range of expert groups on child sexual abuse and related harms, including the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Committee, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) stakeholder group, Terre des Hommes’ expert group; as technical advisor on Out of the Shadows Index and the International Children’s Code. We Co-Chair both the End Violence Executive Committee and, along with Microsoft, the Global Principles Working Group for the World Economic Forum’s Global Coalition on Digital Safety.
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Collaboration

  • In June, we hosted, together with the European Commission and French Presidency of the EU, our Global Summit “Turning the Tide on Child Sexual Abuse online – a unique opportunity for Alliance members from industry, governments, civil society and international organisations to come together to share learnings, agree on collaborative solutions and reaffirm commitments. Over 400 delegates attend the summit at Palais d’ Egmont in Brussels, with a further 500 participating online. We published a full report of the summit, including a summary of all its sessions.
  • We established a new Global Taskforce on child sexual abuse online with the European Union, African Union and eighteen national governments from around the world.
  • We upgraded our collaborative online Protectors’ Portal, which now has over 400 registered users, making it easier for members to start new discussions and interact with other members of the Alliance.
  • Our membership has grown extensively over the past year, increasing our global diversity and representation. With Singapore and Argentina joining the Alliance, we now have 100 government members.
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