Today, we are expanding the Safe Online investment portfolio through a US$ 15 million investment round focused on strengthening systems and technology solutions to enable more effective and coordinated efforts to tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA).
The number of reports of suspected child sexual abuse online is growing at a startling rate, with nearly a 30% increase from 2019 to 2020 - from 17 million to nearly 22 million reports of suspected child abuse material (NCMEC, 2020). COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse. With both children and sexual offenders spending more time online, authorities are reporting alarming increases relating to child sexual abuse material (CSAM), online grooming, activity in online abuse communities, online risk taking by minors, and live streaming of child sexual abuse. “Yet, there remains a mismatch between the magnitude and severity of the problem and the human and financial resources being invested to effectively prevent and respond to this horrific crime.” said Taylor.
2021 Safe Online Investment round launches two Open Calls for funding:
REGIONAL Open Call – Strengthen capacity, networks, and systems to enable more effective and coordinated efforts to tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse in Eastern and Southern Africa and Southeast Asia. Each organization or consortia will be able apply for an award of up to US$ 1 million for a project with a duration of maximum 3 years.
GLOBAL Open Call – Build and deploy technology solutions that give law enforcement, advocates, children and parents new open-source tools to detect, prevent and respond to online child sexual exploitation and abuse. Non-profit organisations and private companies can apply for a grant of up to US$750,000; and private companies for seed investments up to US$250,000 for projects with a duration of maximum 2 years.
Both open calls build on the previous Safe Online investments. Through the regional open call, this new investment round leverages the evidence from the large-scale research project Disrupting Harm commissioned by Safe Online in 2019 and will support programmes poised to make country-level change in two target regions: Eastern and Southern Africa and Southeast Asia. The global open call, on the other hand, represents continuation of our 2020 US$ 10 million investment in 15 projects working to develop, adapt and scale technologies to deter online child sexual abuse.
The calls for proposals will be open until midnight Eastern Time on 15 November 2021. Visit the Safe Online webpage for more information on the eligibility criteria, general conditions and application modalities.
About Safe Online:
Launched in 2016, the Safe Online portfolio has so far mobilized US $83 million, of which US $48 million will be invested in 60 projects with impact in over 70 countries by the end of 2021. The Safe Online investments range from supporting programs at country and regional level as well as large-scale research projects (e.g. Technology Coalition Research Fund), to designing new and scaling-up existing technology-based solutions. Crucially, alongside these investments, Safe Online fosters knowledge generation and collaboration within and between networks to maximize the use of collective resources and ensure investments have a broad impact. Read more about Safe Online portfolio by exploring the Safe Online tab of our Grantee Directory, or sign up to the End Violence Newsletter to receive regular updates.