GTA19: Continuing the global response to child exploitation

As more children around the world come online, and as the technology landscape evolves, we now, more than ever, need a forum for collaboration and action.

The inaugural Global Threat Assessment (GTA) was first published in February 2018 and launched at the 2030 Agenda for Children: End Violence Solutions Summit in Stockholm, Sweden. It was the first report of its kind – a global, comprehensive view of technological change, victim vulnerability, offender behaviour and the intersection point at which child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) is most prevalent.

The report

GTA19 has been commissioned with the assistance and expertise of the WePROTECT Global Alliance members and sets out to build on the wide-reaching success and impact of GTA18. It brings new insights into the nature of online child sexual exploitation (OCSE) and looks ahead to how technological innovation will impact the threat.

The purpose of GTA19 is to demonstrate the nature, scale and complexity of OCSE in order to support a broad mobilisation – compelling nation states, the global technology industry and the third sector to find new ways of working together to combat this rapidly evolving threat.

Key findings

367 million new internet users, representing a nine per cent increase since GTA18

The leap to technology parity

Of the top 20 countries for relative internet growth last year, 19 were from the Global South, where advances have brought these countries to technology parity with the Global North without the corresponding investment in upgrading education, legislation, social services and law enforcement services.

1.8 million new male internet users over the last year have a sexual interest in children

Victim vulnerability

A consequence of the rapid growth in device and internet access is the proportionate increase in the number of adults with a sexual interest in children who are now online, and in the number of children at risk of exposure to these individuals through unsupervised online interactions.

133 countries and territories preferred WhatsApp as their messaging service in 2018

The rise of encryption

The growth of ‘encryption by default’, driven by increased public awareness of online security risks and the desire to protect the privacy of private communications, is further enabling Surface Web offending. This enables more offenders, including those who are less technically aware, to share child sexual abuse material, tips and tradecraft securely and anonymously.

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