Child sexual abuse is the internet’s darkest secret

Child sexual abuse is the internet's darkest secret

Several Nobel laureates, Pope Francis, Angela Merkel, and international bodies such as the OECD have extended support for the endeavour.

In 2017 the Internet Watch Foundation found 78,589 individual web addresses worldwide showing images of child abuse. The five countries that host 87 per cent of this material are the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, France and Russia. However this tells us nothing about where this material was being produced or viewed.

The content may be produced in one part of the world, hosted in another, and viewed in an altogether different location. Some studies claim that videos of infants as young as eighteen months being raped or tortured sell for anywhere between $7,000 and $8000.

At the same time, cybersex trafficking of children is one of the most brutal forms of modern day slavery. Paedophiles lure children and their parents online to watch acts of sexual abuse from wherever they may be abroad.

While the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and a few other international treaties do mention the crime, they are not legally binding.

The UN Convention that I envisage will focus on the prevention of all forms of online sexual abuse. It will be backed by a new Global Task Force against online child pornography, child sexual abuse and child trafficking to provide victims with holistic support.

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