The report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) continues to make news and launched reactions from all over the world! In their recently published study, United Kingdom shows the most effective tackling on child sexual abuse followed by Sweden and Canada. The study, titled ´Out of the shadows: Shining light on the response to child sexual abuse and exploitation` measured how 40 countries all over the globe take actions to prevent and to react the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
Although the study does not examine the scale of the problem in each country but shows how sexual abuse is prioritized on the national level such as existing legal framework to protect children from sexual violence, the government’s commitment to provide resources to respond appropriately and the society´s engagement to tackle the problems.
The report indicates that abuse happens everywhere regardless of a country´s economic success but responsiveness is highest in the globe’s richest countries. Fourteen out of the 40 analyzed countries do not have a designated law enforcement agency to combat child sexual exploitation and only four countries have public services to prevent prospective offenders from committing child sexual abuse such as Germany´s program “Kein Täter warden” (“Do not become an offender”). In this context, Boys are often overlooked. As the study states, girls are the primary victims but just 21 countries have legal protections for boys within their child sexual abuse laws. Here, media can play a special role by addressing the yet insufficient actions to prevent sexual abuse and raising awareness to break social taboos.
The Out of the Shadows Index was developed by EIU and supported by the World Childhood Foundation and the Oak Foundation with additional support from the Carlson Family Foundation and can be downloaded including all data on the link below.
The White paper and the Research methodology produced as part of this report are available here.