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.
Since our 2021 Global Threat Assessment, internet usage has continued to increase. While this brings benefits, it also exposes children to a wide range of online risks, including sexual exploitation and abuse.
Our 2023 Global Threat Assessment shows that child sexual exploitation and abuse online keeps escalating worldwide, in both scale and methods. The volume of child sexual abuse material reports analysed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has increased by 87% since 2019.
The Disrupting Harm research revealed that as many as 20% of children in some countries were subjected to child sexual exploitation and abuse online in the past year.
New emerging technologies like generative AI and eXtended Reality pose new risks for the safety of children online. New trends emerge, such as financial sexual extortion, while threats like online grooming or child ‘self-generated’ sexual material continue to grow. (...)