Child Sexual Abuse

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1 billion children have experienced violence in the past year.

According to WHO there are 6 main types of violence against children:

  • Maltreatment
  • Bullying
  • Youth violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Emotional or psychological violence

One in 10 children will be sexually abused by the age of 18. 60% of these victims never speak up.

There are many different types of sexual abuse are inflicted upon children all over the world, ranging from child porn and internet grooming, to molestation and rape.

Child marriage is a prevalent example of child sex abuse, that is still legal in many countries around the world.

Sexual abuse towards children has severe effects and consequences, which can include mental illness such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, as well as physical injuries.

It is estimated that 19.7% of females and 7.9% of males suffer sexual abuse as children.

However, these numbers have increased in 2020, as Covid-19 caused a severe spike in online child exploitation.

This has also highlighted a need for information sharing between governments and law enforcement agencies, as the issue of child exploitation and child sex abuse does not fall under any one jurisdiction.

A representative from the Italian Interior Ministry stated that “The possibility for the national security system to share views have certainly made it possible to lay the foundations of renewed international collaboration and increase at a technical and operational level, the possibility of reaching environments that have not been fully explored yet.”

The importance of communication and collaboration between governments and other organisations is phenomenal. It will pave the way for new solutions to global problems, such as child sexual abuse.

The prospects of success for such intelligence sharing was seen this year in the UEA, where, thanks to an alliance between 11 governments, the following was made possible:

  • 549 children rescued from abusive environments
  • 771 arrests were made in relation to child exploitation
  • 580 websites and apps used for child exploitation were blocked

Not only were the children removed from these abusive environments, but they were also provided with follow up physical and mental health care to deal with the trauma. 

“Reports from the members of the public, including victims themselves, as well as the covert nature of our work led us to child sexual predators.” said Captain Khatir.

The UEA is further working with other jurisdictions that have rehabilitation programs for victims of such offences, finding the rescued children homes throughout Europe and Australia.

The UEA is not the only country to have some success in locating and saving victims of child sex abuse, however, it is an excellent example of the use of intelligence sharing and cooperation, and reflects a pathway that needs to be taken in the future, by governments and NGOs alike, for the protection of children

There are extensive support lines, agencies, organisations and more, aimed at battling child sex abuse, however most of them are limited by jurisdictions.

Our global community needs a global solution. Without these limitations.