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Over 300 Million Children Are Victims Of Online Sexual Exploitation

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Over 300 Million Children Are Victims Of Online Sexual Exploitation

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ONE IN EIGHT CHILDREN FACE HARM, WORLD’S FIRST GLOBAL ESTIMATE FINDS
SOUTH ASIA HAS MOST CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE MATERIAL REPORTS
ONE CASE AROUND THE WORLD REPORTED EVERY SECOND
INTERPOL WARNS OF “CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER” TO CHILDREN
SURVIVORS DEMAND ACTION ON “GLOBAL HEALTH EMERGENCY”

Nusantaranews, LONDON, May 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Over 300 million children are victims of
online sexual abuse and exploitation annually, with South Asia triggering the highest number of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) alerts. These findings come from the first global estimate of the crisis by university researchers.

With files containing sexual images of children reported every second worldwide, researchers highlighted that pupils “in every classroom, in every school, in every country” are affected by this “hidden pandemic.”

This data appears in a ground breaking report by the Childlight Global Child Safety Institute at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

It indicates that 12.6% of the world’s children, about 302 million, have been victims of non-consensual taking,  sharing and exposure to sexual images and video in the past year. Additionally, 12.5% of children globally have been subjected to online solicitation, such as unwanted sexual talk, non-consensual sexting and unwanted sexual
act requests by adults or other youths. Offences include “sextortion” and abuse of AI deepfake technology.

One child grooming survivor emphasised the need for stronger regulation to hold social media platforms accountable, especially as end-to-end encryption makes detecting offenders more difficult.

Childlight’s global index, Into the Light, found South Asia accounts for about one-third of all alerts by online watchdogs for CSAM hosting or uploading, followed by East Asia and Pacific, which account for one-fifth of reports. However, these regions also hold 54% of the world’s population.

Standardising findings by population size, North America and Western Europe are in the top three regions for the highest CSAM rate, following the Middle East and North Africa.

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