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  • Protect Children

Protect Children will produce research-based recommendations for tech companies

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

NEWS


Protect Children continues the ReDirection project with support of Tech Coalition #SafeOnline Research Fund – innovative collaboration between End Violence and Tech Coalition.

Today, on 3 April 2023, Protect Children launches new research to tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse. The research has a strong focus on producing actionable recommendations for the tech industry to prevent child sexual abuse material (CSAM) use.


Protect Children will be working in strong collaboration with partners:


Red PaPaz - non-governmental organization advocating for the protection of the rights of children and adolescents in Colombia and Latin America

Juha Nurmi – Doctor of Science and Technology, Expert of cyber criminality and Dark Web infrastructure

Mikko Aaltonen – Professor of Criminology in the University of Eastern Finland,

Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) Mental Hub/Mielenterveystalo.fi - online service for specialist medical mental health care

 

The project is funded by Tech Coalition #SafeOnline Research Fund. End Violence’s Safe Online Initiative, in close partnership with grantees and partners, is leading on global efforts to make the internet safe for children by investing for impact in programmes that work and generating evidence to inform advocacy and collective action.








Enhancing help-seeking behaviours of online CSAM offenders in order to increase uptake of intervention resourcesProtect Children will examine a distinction between three samples of population: CSAM users who have help-seeking motivation, who have no help-seeking motivation and who actively seek for help to define factors which affect willingness to seek help for illegal and/or harmful behavior.


The data for this research will be collected directly from anonymous CSAM offenders with the help of the ReDirection surveys. The surveys ‘Help Us to Help You’ and ‘No Need for Help’ are placed in the dark web and are offered to complete for users who searched for CSAM using key words. The surveys collect data from two target groups – those with help-seeking motivation and those without it. The research will focus on English and Spanish language responses – two largest language groups of respondents. In order to reach CSAM offenders who already actively seek for help, Protect Children will develop an additional survey and attach it to the end of the ReDirection Self-Help program.


Understanding the pathways of CSAM users to the dark web

Another area of the project’s focus is researching pathways of CSAM users from the open web to searching for CSAM in the dark web. Protect Children will explore in depth where the users encountered CSAM for the first time, how and why they switched to the dark web to learn how tech platforms can prevent CSAM users from escalating illegal behaviour. The data for this part of the project will be also collected directly for CSAM users in the dark web in English and Spanish via adding new, relevant questions to the ReDirection surveys.


New research will increase recognition within the tech industry of the prevalence of CSAM crimes occurring on, or facilitated by, tech platforms. In the project, Protect Children will explore behaviour of CSAM offenders and provide access to intervention resources for the tech companies to facilitate help-seeking behaviour and prevent further occurrence of crimes against children.

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