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Disrupting Harm

Evidence from 13 countries on the context, threats, and children’s perspectives of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

In a unique collaboration ECPAT International, INTERPOL and UNICEF have combined forces to assess the context, threat and collect children’s perspectives of online child sexual exploitation and abuse in 13 countries in Southeast Asia and Eastern and Southern Africa. This ground-breaking project was made possible with funding from the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children through its Safe Online initiative. Not only does the combined expertise of the partners makes this project unique, but Disrupting Harm also creates the possibility to compare across the 13 countries. At the end of 2021 and in the first half of 2022, the three partners will launch a joint report for each of the 13 counties and two regional reports.

The countries included in the project are Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.



ECPAT conducted a comprehensive analysis of the existing research, legislation, policy, and systems addressing online child sexual exploitation and abuse for each target country, as well as collect data in the 13 countries.

  • Up to 12 in-depth interviews with senior national duty-bearers from governments
  • Information from hot- and helplines and the Internet industry to complement INTERPOL’s threat assessment
  • Face-to-face surveys with 50 welfare staff per country to understand the scale, scope, and context of online child sexual exploitation and abuse
  • Interviews with 10 survivors of online child sexual exploitation and abuse, their parents and caregivers, and 10 justice stakeholders per country to assess access justice
  • Interviews with 33 survivors of online child sexual exploitation and abuse in Cambodia, Malaysia, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa. ECPAT members play a crucial role in collecting data
  • In Southeast Asia, we are partnering with: APLE Cambodia, ECPAT Indonesia, ECPAT Philippines, and ECPAT Foundation Thailand.
  • In Africa, we collaborate with EDA in Ethiopia, KAACR in Kenya, Rede Da Criança in Mozambique, Lifeline/Childline Namibia, Jelly Beanz in South Africa, C-SEMA and KIWOHEDE in Tanzania, and UYDEL in Uganda.
Assess Threat


For each country, INTERPOL collected data law enforcement agencies, NGOs and the Internet industry to measure the scope and nature of the problem. INTERPOL also conducted a needs analysis of the capacity of law enforcement agencies to counter online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Children’s Perspectives


UNICEF conducted nationally-representative household surveys with around 1,000 children and 1,000 of their caregivers in each of the 13 partner countries. The purpose was to hear directly from children and parents about children’s online experiences.

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