"Online grooming - a growing threat to children in the digital age"
The report “Online grooming - a growing threat to children in the digital age” details research on online grooming of children in Western Europe, focusing on Belgium, Germany, Finland, France and Sweden. The report includes joint recommendations to tackle the issue of grooming, highlighting the need for more data and research together with education and prevention, as well as stronger legislation.
Online grooming is growing rapidly with the rise of technology and is becoming a widespread problem. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this issue, leading to the increase in the number of websites hosting self-generated child sexual abuse material. The report is a joint effort by Agir Contre la Prostitution des Enfants (France), Child10 (Sweden), Child Focus (Belgium), Netzwerk gegen Menschenhandel (Germany) and Protect Children (Finland).
The key findings of the report are divided into three different topics: Data and Research, Education and Prevention, and Legislation together with Cooperation. The report sheds light on the ways social media is being used to exploit and groom children, and what immediate and long-term steps need to be taken to protect children.