Study on the Effects of New Information Technologies on the Abuse and Exploitation of Children


Date of publication:  16 May 2014 Publisher:  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

New information technologies have had an impact on many forms of child abuse and exploitation, particularly with regard to online grooming of children and the dissemination of child sexual abuse material. This study examines the intersection of new information technologies and child abuse, focusing on child sexual abuse material, commercial sexual exploitation of children, cyber-enticement and grooming, cyber-bullying, and exposure to harmful content. The costs of producing and distributing child sexual abuse material can be significantly reduced through the use of information and communication technologies, increasing profitability for perpetrators, and there is also the potential for increasing levels of harm and re-victimization through the distribution and re-distribution of child sexual abuse material through online channels. There is a trend towards increasing levels of violence and decreasing age of victims in child sexual abuse material distributed online. Similarly, sexual content generated by children may be posted online where control over it is easily lost. The study also looks at profiles of victims and offenders of child abuse and exploitation using new information technologies, as well as the mechanisms used to combat this type of abuse. 

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