Teaming up with ICMEC to support child survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse

Child Helpline International and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) proudly join forces to protect and support child survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation. We are happy to announce the launch of a 27 month programme, which will implement the WePROTECT Global Alliance Model National Response. This Model helps both countries and organisations to build and deliver a coordinated response when tackling online child sexual exploitation.

This important programme would not have been possible without the financial support provided by the Fund to End Violence Against Children.

Modern technology plays a central role in children and young people’s daily lives. In 2017, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimated that up to 70% of youth aged 15 to 24 were online, placing them at the forefront of “internet adoption”. However, according to a 2009 United Nations report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, “the number of predators connected to the Internet at any one time is estimated to be 750,000”. Therefore, as internet availability and accessibility continue to rise, so does the need to protect those who have fallen victim to online exploitation.

70% of youth are online

Child Helpline International and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) stand committed in our belief that children and young people have the right to childhoods where they can grow, thrive and make their voices heard. This is without having to worry about experiencing abuse, exploitation and violence online.

Stemming from our Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in September 2017, Child Helpline International and ICMEC are committed to working together to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA). As outlined in the WePROTECT Global Alliance’s Model National Response, we recognise that only when we work together across all sectors of civil society can we achieve lasting and meaningful change.

 

working together to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse

 

This 27 month programme hopes to build the capacity of child helplines, law enforcement and other child-serving specialists such as healthcare professionals and educators in order to better prevent, respond and support victims and survivors of online CSEA.

This programme will work with five target countries – Jordan, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines and Romania – who:

  • Have signed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
  • Are actively engaged in combating online CSEA issues;
  • Have a national legal framework in place to address online CSEA;
  • Have expressed an interest in receiving resources and trainings to better respond to online CSEA.

We hope that our work with online CSEA will not end with these five countries alone but that others will follow suit.

 

Investing in the lives of children and young people benefits us all. We could not accomplish our goals without the support of the Fund to End Violence Against Children, of which we are extremely grateful. We cannot wait to kick things off with our first meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, this summer!

 

Who is ICMEC?

The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation based in Virginia, USA.

For nearly 20 years, ICMEC has played a leading role in identifying gaps in the global community’s ability to protect children from abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation. They work alongside governments, academics, law enforcement and civil society organisations in offering practical resources and measures to safeguard children.

Take a look at ICMEC’s press release here.