Human rights organization develops method to estimate prevalence of online child sexual exploitation

The International Justice Mission (IJM), a global human rights organization, has developed a research approach to estimate the prevalence of trafficking to produce child sexual exploitation material. The method is expected to be implemented in the Philippines this year.

“This is a remarkable victory for all who work and want to end this crime against children. We now have the methodology to measure the prevalence of online child sexual exploitation that was not available before,” said Samson R. Inocencio, Jr., IJM Regional Vice President of Online Child Sexual Exploitation Programs, in an official statement.

“This has been made possible by an outstanding group of Philippine government advisers and global stakeholders, including the world-renowned research team at Nottingham Rights Lab,” he added.

The method was developed following the IJM’s Scale of Harm project, launched in March 2021. It brought together a board of 24 experts and researchers from organizations in technology, finance, government and non-governmental child protection sectors.

To develop the method, the council combined national household surveys using the Network Scaling Method (NSUM), a research method that estimates the prevalence of hard-to-reach populations, with a scientific data analysis of a range of secondary data sets.

“Ultimately, successful child protection interventions should first reduce the number of injured children. Scale of Harm proves that through global collaboration, we can collectively develop global data measurement standards to measure violence reduction,” said John E. Tanagho, executive director of the Center to End Online Sexual Exploitation of Children at the IJM.

IJM also pointed out that the trafficking of children to produce child sexual exploitation material (referred to as TCSEM) is a form of online exploitation where “offenders, usually in Western countries, pay adults to broadcast online. live child sexual abuse in real time, or to produce new photos and videos of abuse.

In the Philippines, the Local Survivor Network (LSN) provided feedback and input to the project. Its goal is to create a network that keeps survivors safe and empowers them to become advocates for empowering justice systems that protect the vulnerable.

LSN member Crystal (a pseudonym) expressed her gratitude to those involved in the project: “Thank you for sharing your expertise and insights to help us determine the prevalence of this crime…I hope our efforts will lead to rescuing more survivors or vulnerable individuals of online child sexual exploitation.

IJM is open to collaboration with internet service providers, electronic service providers, financial industry companies and others interested in implementing the Scale of Harm methodology in the Philippines in 2022. — Bronte H. Lacsamana

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