This
report contains the findings and recommendations resulting from a unique
collaboration between INTERPOL, through its Crimes against Children Unit, and
ECPAT International, through its
Programme to End Online Child Sexual Exploitation. It is based on analysis of
the multi-country data set contained in the ICSE Database housed at INTERPOL.
This data set is broader in country coverage and possibly in other dimensions
than any other previously analysed and publicly reported on. The report forms
one component of a larger programme of ICSE Database enhancement activities
financed by the European Union between 2016 and 2018.

While both partner organisations recognise
the complex and frequently interconnected nature of the many types of crimes
committed against children worldwide, they also recognise and seek to address
the specific challenges and risks to children in the online and digital
environment. As such, this report focuses on child victims of Child Sexual
Abuse Material and Child Sexual Exploitation Material, as a subset of the
unknown number of child victims of sexual abuse

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Furthermore, while this research does include
analysis of case data relating to identified victims as recorded in the ICSE
Database, the overall focus of this research is on the subset of victims
recorded in the ICSE Database as unidentified. The reasons for this include:

?       
To advocate for more
resourcing of victim identification in all countries by presenting a
descriptive profile of the victims who remain unidentified but whose
victimisation will in many cases be ongoing. This imperative to act is at the
heart of the global indicator concept.

?       
To investigate possible
reasons that victims remain unidentified in some cases, given the significant
record of law enforcement in identifying victims in countries where this work
is prioritised and adequately resourced. While outside of the focus of this
study, future programmes of research to determine how and why certain
investigations result in the identification of victims and/or offenders could
be beneficial to the design of future policy, programming and training for law
enforcement globally, including INTERPOL.  

 

The
overall benefits of the research and the application of its findings – namely
to assess the situation of unidentified victims of online child sexual
exploitation and abuse – are to:

1.      Establish a basis, platform and
baseline for overall monitoring and drive advocacy and public awareness

2.      Develop metrics and related tools in
support of law enforcement across countries.