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23 July 2021 | Podcasts | Article by Alan Collins

HJ Talks About Abuse: The Impact of Covid-19 on Online Child Sexual Exploitation – Part 2

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In part two, Alan and Michael discuss what lessons can be learned from the impact of Covid-19 on Online Child Sexual Exploitation?

As part of the research project when asked about the lessons of the pandemic for online child protection and safety, OCSE professionals called for:

  • Increased education and outreach to children, parents and the community about child safety strategies and the risks of OCSE,
  • An adaptive and crisis-prepared child protection system,
  • Technology industry transparency and accountability to ensure a timely and proportionate response to OCSE,
  • Preventative platform and service design to reduce the opportunities for offenders to target children and to improve reporting and safety measures,
  • Enhanced support for OCSE victims and survivors, including holistic case management,
  • Recognition of the adaptiveness of OCSE offender communities and a commitment to a similarly adaptive counter-responses, and
  • A strengths-based approach that acknowledges the strength and resiliency of children and young people.

Alan raises the question during the podcast: what do you do if your child has been the victim of on-line sexual exploitation?

If your child has been “sextorted” what advice and support is there?

The role of on-line social media platform providers are discussed as well as the need for governments, internationally, to do far more to combat on-line CSE.

The key recommendations from the report are:

  • To integrate OCSE professional stakeholders into the planning of child protection responses to crises and pandemics,
  • To diversify outreach approaches for the delivery of OCSE prevention and education initiatives,
  • To increase transparency and accountability measures for technology companies in the prevention, moderation, and reporting of OCSE, including a safety by design approach,
  • To develop accessible specialised support options for victims and survivors of OCSE, and
  • To develop robust measures of offender and child behaviour online.

A full copy of “The impact of COVID-19 on the risk of online child sexual exploitation and the implications for child protection and policing” can be found here.

Author bio

Alan Collins


Alan Collins is one of the best known and most experienced solicitors in the field of child abuse litigation and has acted in many high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne abuse scandals.  Alan has represented interested parties before public inquiries including the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, and IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse).

Internationally, Alan works in Australia, South East Asia, Uganda, Kenya, and California representing clients in high profile sexual abuse cases. Alan also spoke at the Third Regional Workshop on Justice for Children in East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok hosted by Unicef and HCCH (Hague Conference on Private International Law).

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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