WeProtect Global Alliance – 2021
This report shares the findings of a virtual roundtable that brought together experts to better understand how child trafficking for sexual purposes and child sexual exploitation and abuse online overlap, and to explore the opportunities, challenges, and implications of framing some online exploitation crimes as a form of trafficking. Key themes are discussed, including challenges with framing online exploitation and abuse as trafficking, the risks and benefits of framing online exploitation and abuse as trafficking vary with country-specific legal, legislative, and operational contexts, and the need for a child protection response that puts the best interests of the child at the heart of any investigation. Recommendations are made and include: legal and policy reform should be explored to help improve legal clarity in cases of child trafficking and wider offences of child sexual exploitation and abuse that have an online element; further research should be conducted to scope the specific gaps, challenges, and good practices referenced at the event; a child protection response that puts the child’s best interests first is the most important element when a sexual crime has been committed against a child; and more political will and resourcing is required to raise the profile of child sexual exploitation and abuse online and to generate the funding necessary to tackle it, including training law enforcement on preserving and presenting evidence in cases with a cyber element. 11 references.