With every third internet user being under the age of 18, online child sexual abuse has become a global public safety issue — producing a generation of victims. The WeProtect Global Alliance estimates that a staggering 54% of those who regularly used the internet as a child (now aged 18-20) were the victims of at least one online sexual harm. The stigma that still surrounds child sexual exploitation and abuse makes it likely that what we know is only the tip of the iceberg, and that our statistics underestimate the prevalence of the issue.
How to protect children from online child sexual abuse
Though highly alarming, sexual exploitation and abuse are just one form of illegal or harmful content or conduct impacting young people online. Cyberbullying, impersonation, trolling, harassment, exposure to hate speechHate speech is any form of communication, whether written, spoken or otherwise expressed, that attacks or incites violence, discrimination or hostility against a particular individual or group on the basis of their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristics. More, encouraging self-harm, identity theft and phishing aimed at children are also on the rise. Consequences range from cautionary tales to harrowing tragedies. For example, Italy ordered TikTok to blockThis refers to the disabling of an online service or specific aspects of it for one or more users. There could be various reasons why content is blocked, including legal restrictions in certain jurisdictions. When done between users, the block function may disable other features, such as preventing the blocked user from viewing the blocker's profile or other related information. More anyone whose age could not be confirmed, following the death of a 10-year-old who attempted a dangerous challenge. We are also just learning that young people, regardless of gender, are susceptible to eating disorder trends that can be amplified by social media.
Read the full version of this article on the World Economic Forum.
By: Jacqueline Beauchere, Theos Evgeniou, Louis-Victor de Franssu