Safe Online Initiative supports UNICEF to advance efforts to end online child sexual exploitation and abuse

05 May 2022
A girl participates in an IG Live
UNICEF/2022/Wilander

Jakarta, 5 May – End Violence’s Safe Online initiative today announced a new US$ 15 million investment to support global and regional efforts to tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA). This latest investment will support efforts of 18 organizations across the world to build stronger national-level systems and leverage technology solutions to make the internet safe for children.

In Indonesia, UNICEF will receive US$ 1,000,000 to improve the country’s policy framework and early support for victims so that children and caregivers are able to prevent harmful or unwanted experiences online.

“Children across the globe are discovering new worlds online but, at the same time, are exposed to a growing threat of online sexual exploitation and abuse. In the last one year alone, there were over 29 million reports of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. Online child sexual exploitation and abuse is the fastest growing form of violence against children. Safe Online is leading on global efforts to address this issue and this latest round of investments will go a long way in strengthening key pieces of the global ecosystem to ensure that every child is safe online,” says Safe Online Director, Marija Manojlovic.

The new projects have been identified after a competitive selection process based on the applications received as part of the 2021 Open Calls for proposals at the regional and global levels. These new initiatives build on the data, evidence and good practices from the Safe Online earlier rounds of investment and focus on ensuring impact by leveraging both technology solutions and strengthening national systems and capacity to be able to respond effectively to online CSEA.

At the regional level, the projects identified will be operational across countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, and South-East Asia and build on efforts to bring about ground-level change. The initiatives will support strong national systems and align efforts to end online CSEA with other national plans and programmes focusing on ending violence against children to ensure improved collaboration.

“In line with Indonesia’s national plan of action, our Strengthening Safe and Friendly Environments for Children Online (SAFE4C) programme aims to reduce children’s exposure to online risks and supports parents and caregivers to respond to harmful contact, conduct and content online,” said UNICEF Representative a.i. Robert Gass.

The winners of the global call will advance new and groundbreaking technological solutions to prevent – and end – online child sexual exploitation and abuse by providing law enforcement, advocates, children and parents with new open-source tools. The technology tools use artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality and more.

Media contacts

Tahseen Alam
Communications Specialist
Safe Online, End Violence Global Partnership

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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About Safe Online, End Violence Against Children – the Global Partnership and the Fund

The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and its associated Fund were launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2016 with one goal: to catalyze and support action to end all forms of violence against children by 2030. The partnership has over 360 partners from every continent, all of whom bring diverse perspectives, expertise, networks and solutions to the global effort to protect children and adolescents. The End Violence Fund is the Partnership’s vehicle for change on the ground.

The Safe Online initiative of End Violence, in close partnership with our partners and grantees, is leading on global efforts to make the internet safe for children. Safe Online is one of the largest non-government funds dedicated to ending online CSEA. Since our inception in 2016, the Safe Online portfolio has grown to reach US$ 68 million in investments in 80 projects working to end and prevent online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) in over 75 countries. Read more: https://www.end-violence.org/safeonline

Safe Online and the Tech Coalition have launched the 2022 Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund, to expand knowledge of online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) and to develop actionable insights for preventing it. The Request for Expressions of Interest is live and will be open for submissions until 31 May 2022.