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ECPAT expects increased efforts to tackle child sexual exploitation as tech coalition launches Project Protect

Posted on Jun 11, 2020

In 2006, a tech coalition was formed by some of the leading tech companies in the world. As the amount of online child sexual abuse imagery online is rapidly growing, ECPAT is pleased to see the re-launch of the coalition and the new Project Protect. With the new project, we are expecting increased efforts from the sector in combatting the sexual exploitation of children online. 

In 2019, 69.1 million online photos and videos of child sexual abuse were reported in the US, all hosted and shared online. Tech companies are at the forefront of detecting such content and other crimes committed through their platforms, which is why their action is more important than ever. The new project is based on five pillars of action and investment in research on the issue. This re-launch is positive as it indicates an intention of the members — Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, GoDaddy, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Roblox, Snapchat, Twitter, Verizon Media, Wattpad, Yubo and VSCO — to become more efficient at combating these crimes.

“Tech companies have the ability and the responsibility to detect and take down illegal content portraying child sexual abuse that is on, or transiting across their platforms, and to help identify individuals mis-using their services to sexually groom children. This makes them frontline actors in the battle against child sex predators.

ECPAT International supports the renewed efforts of the Technology Coalition and its members to step up to its responsibility and to become collectively more efficient at disrupting this form of criminality targeting children. The rights of our children to be protected from sexual exploitation and abuse should always remain the utmost moral compass.”

– Marie-Laure Lemineur, Head of Programmes, ECPAT International

In the process of this re-launch, the tech coalition has worked together with the WeProtect Global Alliance and the global partnership End Violence Against Children, including ECPAT International on how they can improve. With these insights, the Project Protect initiative can enable a more strategic resource allocation and systemic change to adapt to new trends and harmful practices.

Most importantly, the sexual abuse and exploitation of children online can be detected, and child sex offenders can be identified and prosecuted.


ECPAT - resources

March 2020: New guidelines for tech companies to combat online child sexual abuse and exploitation