WeProtect Global Alliance, an international coalition of private entities and government agencies dedicated to protecting children from online sexual exploitation, released a report on Tuesday that found child sexual abuse increased significantly during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Alliance’s Global Threat Assessment 2021, pandemic lockdowns and social distancing produced a dramatic increase in Internet use by children, which in turn led to a surge of online exploitation.
“The scale of child sexual exploitation and abuse online is increasing. This sustained growth is outstripping our global capacity to respond,” the report warned.
To depict the scale of the problem, the report noted that the ten most harmful child sexual abuse sites on the “dark web” have over three million users between them. One site taken down by Europol in May 2021 had over 400,000 registered users.
The number of reports pouring into cyber abuse hotlines doubled last year, an increase WeProtect Global Alliance called “unprecedented.” (Read more from “Report: Coronavirus ‘Contributed to a Significant Spike in Child Sexual Exploitation’” HERE)
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