Ending Online Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Ways Forward
Ending online sexual exploitation and abuse is one of the most urgent issues of our time, yet key challenges remain. Today, the scope and scale of internet and digital connectivity and increasingly affordable access to camera-ready technology, coupled with gendered notions of male entitlement and the intensification of misogyny online, is enabling online sexual harms to occur at unprecedented levels across the world. International and national legal instruments have simply not kept pace.
There is also no legally binding framework at the international level that defines the role, responsibility, and accountability of technology platforms, which has resulted in technology companies and internet service providers being allowed to self-regulate and choose whether to voluntarily identify and remove online sexual exploitation and abuse material on their respective platforms.
The prosecution of online sexual exploitation and abuse and in particular identification and removal of online sexual exploitation and abuse from online platforms often comes into tension with digital rights, particularly, freedom of expression and privacy.
International standards providing for online sexual exploitation and abuse will not only address the gendered and multi-jurisdictional nature of OSEA but will provide certainty when balancing digital rights and online sexual violence and abuse.
Join Equality Now and the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a discussion with experts from the international community, the tech industry, governments, and organizations working with survivors as we look at what needs to change and explore a way forward together.