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Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online

The aim of this report is to provide an update to the Strategic Assessment of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online published in October 2013 in the framework of European Financial Coalition (EFC). In addition to presenting the 2013 facts and figures, it also looks at other essential factors in this area. There is a lack of a globally agreed definition of commercial Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), inherent difficulties in creating one and individual working definitions may be more appropriate in a case-by-case assessment due to cultural, legal or procedural limitations. This has implications for organisations or projects dealing with the assessment of such content and also impacts on the response to hotline notifications in Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) in the European Union.

This assessment also makes a clear distinction between the situation on the Surface Web, the Deep Web and the Darknet. The purpose of this is to influence an outdated assessment of the problem, which characterises commercial CSE as dedicated websites or URLs being accessible by regular search engines. Moreover, this stereotype will also be examined by providing facts relating to emerging trends and new forms of commercial activities on the Surface Web itself.

Through an examination of the scale and extent of existing activity as well as the most recent developments in these areas, this assessment aims to recommend solutions and suggest regulations. These are aimed at enabling both the Law Enforcement (LE) and private sector communities to prevent and tackle this horrific crime in the best possible way.