Trigger warning: Some words and images may be disturbing.✕
COVID-19 lockdowns created a perfect storm
for livestreamed child sexual abuse.
Online sexual exploitation of children
It encompasses a range of crimes, including creating, possessing or distributing child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) like photos and videos.
It also includes the sexual abuse of children by traffickers who livestream the exploitation to satisfy the online demand of child sex offenders paying to direct the abuse in real time.
Today, abusers located anywhere in the world can exploit children without ever leaving their homes.
Children, as young as two months old, are trafficked by trusted parents, relatives, friends, or neighbors
Fueled primarily by demand from foreign sex offenders who are shielded by the virtual world of the internet
Transacted mainstream social media and messaging platforms,
in any location, at any time
MAKE NO MISTAKE
This isn't limited to the simple exchange of explicit images.
Girls and boys are forced to perform sex acts on themselves or each other, are molested by an adult, or are exploited in other violent ways.
The crime remains largely undetected and underreported.
A typical case of livestreamed child sexual abuse involves
Child sex traffickers
Source-side CSEM producers who abuse children in person for online streaming
Victims in source-side countries
Usually the trafficker's child, nephew, niece, or neighbor
Foreign child sex offenders
Demand-side offenders who pay for and direct the abuse
*Source: "Online Sexual Exploitation of Children: Analysis and Recommendations for Government, Industry, and Civil Society" (IJM, 2020)