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Slipping through the net

Trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children via online platforms

Nominate an organization working in Europe to become a 2022 Child10 Awarded Member

Human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children is a major and growing crime throughout the world. As more and more people access the internet, the trafficking, abuse and exploitation of children is no longer restricted to physical arenas but can be executed or facilitated anywhere at any time. The accelerating use of digital tools by traffickers puts enormous stress on the slow-moving laws and regulations in society. This is making the online sphere an arena where perpetrators can reach and exploit children with very limited consequences. Children’s rights are violated through the loopholes in the law – making them slip through the safety net that are supposed to stop the abuser and create a safe environment for the child.

UN Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC reports that an estimated one-third of all victims of human trafficking in the world are children and economic recession due to the pandemic will make them even more vulnerable (2021). It is also estimated that one-third of all  internet users worldwide are children. This widespread use coupled with the ease of exploitation online creates an unsafe environment for children and makes them easy targets for perpetrators online; over the last decade, extensive internet integration in daily life and expanding use of mobile devices have enabled offenders to misuse technology with the aim to contact, groom and abuse children.

Online arena has become a procurator that connects the perpetrator with the victim. The online arenas also provide new ways of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children, such as the purchase of live-streams to view the abuse of children in real time through the web. In these cases children are being trafficked and abused live by a perpetrator on screen and the abuse is streamed by thousands of perpetrators behind the screen. Often the abuse is also filmed and viewed again and again by even more offenders. Recently released EU strategies on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings and the rights of the child also underlines the urgency of tackling the pattern of traffickers increasingly moving online for every phase of trafficking.

Trafficking and sexual exploitation of children, exacerbated by online arenas, needs to be comprehensively addressed by all actors. Ending this heinous crime is one of the most urgent issues of our time and can only be eradicated by a collaborative approach where different sectors work together in strong partnerships. Therefore in 2022, Child10 will focus on how online arenas affect modern trafficking and sexual exploitation of children and support organizations throughout Europe who are dedicated to ending and preventing these issues and protecting the victims as well as children at risk.

The ten selected Child10 Awarded Members will:

  • Be invited to Sweden for a three-day Solution Oriented Summit and an Award Ceremony to receive their Award
  • Work together throughout 2022 with the other Awarded Members on joint actions, projects and advocacy to eradicate trafficking and sexual exploitation of children
  • Receive a tailor made support program to scale the work of their organization
  • Recieve a 100,000SEK (appr 9,850 euro) financial grant from Child10´s Main Partner, Her Majesty the Queen Silvia of Sweden´s Foundation “Care About the Children”.


We are now inviting you to nominate candidates for the Child10 2022 Award. All nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee under the following criterias:

  1. The Awarded Member has shown bold, tireless and impact driven work to support child victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation or who in a preventative way reduces the risk of children becoming victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation online.
  2. The Awarded Member has a strong human rights based approach where children are seen as carriers of their own rights in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  3. The Awarded Member shows a potential for, and strong belief and commitment in, collaboration and joint actions for scaling up their impact as a Child10 Awarded Member.
  4. The Awarded Member is engaged in operative work to support children who are in, or at risk of, trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation through online platforms and digital tools in Europe.