Grantees of the End Violence Fund

The End Violence Fund invests in children – today, tomorrow, and for the future. Each programme we support generates evidence for the field, helping the End Violence community magnify what works at scale. We are committed to continuing to support strong, evidence-based initiatives that make change – all with and through our tremendous set of partners and grantees. We currently have two open windows of the Fund, which focus on protecting children in humanitarian settings and preventing and ending sexual exploitation and abuse of children online.

Our online violence window includes the following initiatives:

Albania

UNICEF Albania

May 2017 – April 2020

UNICEF Albania is using the support from the Fund to end violence against children online on multiple levels. To reach children, the agency is training children to become peer educators on online violence, increasing their knowledge on safe Internet navigation and helping them spread that information to their peers. UNICEF Albania conducted research on children’s use of the Internet and the risk of online violence using the Global Kids Online methodology. The results of this study are being used to conduct national awareness activities. UNICEF Albania is also working at the national level by strengthening the national child helpline and hotline, which alert authorities about child sexual abuse material online.

They are also carrying out an assessment of national legislation, policies and programmes currently targeting online child sexual exploitation and abuse in-line with the WePROTECT Global Alliance Model National Response. This will inform measures to improve the system response to online child sexual exploitation and abuse. UNICEF Albania is also helping the government develop a national strategy for cyber-security with a focus on children’s online safety. The agency is also supporting law enforcement authorities, strengthening their ability to investigate and prosecute cases of online child sexual abuse and exploitation.

In addition, the agency is working with local municipalities and Internet service providers to promote “Albania Friendly Wi-Fi,” a safe certification standard for public Wi-Fi. These services will make Internet navigation safer for children and families, while also increasing national awareness on internet safety. Tirana, the capital of Albania, is on its way to becoming the first capital in the region that promotes such friendly Wi-Fi services to its citizens. In addition, the agency is using support from the Fund to engage the information, communications and technology sector on children’s Internet usage and risks in the digital space.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

UNICEF, Save the Children, International Forum of Solidarity-EMMAUS

February 2018 – January 2021

The Fund is helping UNICEF, Save the Children, and International Forum of Solidarity-EMMAUS to work as a consortium to support and advocate for online safety in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To do so, the organisations have worked with the government to establish a National Advisory Board to coordinate actions around online child sexual exploitation and abuse at the national level. They are also conducting a mapping and assessment of existing victim support services and documented best national and international practices and recommendations. In addition to advocacy and policy dialogue work with the government and other stakeholders, the consortium seeks to strengthen the response and engage the information, communications and technology industry.

The project is also: developing contextually-specific support services for children who have experienced online violence; raising community awareness about online child sexual exploitation and abuse; and integrating online safety into the school curriculum. As a platform for these activities, the project has developed the Safer Internet Centre, which comprises of a hotline for reports of online child sexual abuse material, a helpline for children and enhanced hotline, and an awareness center. Training and awareness-raising sessions are also being delivered to children, parents, caregivers, teachers, social service providers, government officials, law enforcement and the judiciary, and the information, communications and technology sector.

Colombia

Red PaPaz, Fundación Renacer, UNICEF Colombia

January 2017 – June 2020

In Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena, Red PaPaz is partnering with Fundación Renacer and UNICEF Colombia to work on multiple levels to end online violence against children. They are: creating context-specific, child-friendly educational materials to help girls and boys learn about online child sexual exploitation and abuse; strengthening and supporting youth groups on prevention and incidence of child protection issues; developing a pilot project with Internet service providers to design a “notice and takedown” protocol for online child sexual exploitation and abuse materials; strengthening their existing hotline for child sexual exploitation and abuse materials, Te Protejo; training journalists and spokespersons on vocabulary on online child sexual exploitation and abuse; training criminal justice officials to handle online child sexual exploitation and abuse victims and cases, in part by creating recommendations for judicial investigations to follow; and recommending updates to comprehensive care guidelines for victims.

Costa Rica

Paniamor Foundation

January 2017 – June 2020

The PANIAMOR Foundation is using support from the Fund to bring prevention and response of child sexual exploitation to the forefront of national conversation. The Foundation is supporting the Government of Costa Rica’s Connected Households Program (Hogares Conectados) to equip families and children with knowledge on online violence, along with the skills to prevent and respond to it. They are also building the capacity of child protection systems and those involved in its processes, ensuring such mechanisms are both scalable and sustainable. PANIAMOR Foundation is also introducing a digital application to the existing 911 emergency response system, which will allow users to make reports via the app and help the police process reports of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

In addition, the Foundation has conducted the first national survey with children using the Global Kids Online methodology, along with a baseline study on Costa Rica’s national capacity to protect children and adolescents from online sexual exploitation and abuse. The latter is mapped against the WeProtect Global Alliance Model National Response.

Dominican Republic

UNICEF Dominican Republic

March 2018 – September 2021

In the Dominican Republic, UNICEF and Plan International have teamed up to establish and implement the country’s national response board, which is charged with coordinating initiatives that prevent and respond to online sexual exploitation and abuse. Current priorities involve assessing children’s perception of possibilities and risks associated with the use of the Internet; building the capacity of the local child protection board members to raise awareness, identify and respond to cases at the local level; strengthening the capacity of the Attorney General’s Office to prosecute crimes and provide victim assistance; and to strengthen the existing helpline for cases of online violence. The project is also collaborating with Internet service providers to identify and remove online sexual exploitation content while also raising awareness on the subject.

Ghana

UNICEF Ghana

June 2018 – May 2021

UNICEF Ghana is using support from the Fund to develop a National Plan of Action to tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse. The agency is also working closely with the National Cybersecurity Crime Centre to integrate online child protections into the country’s national cybersecurity strategy. To further protect children, UNICEF Ghana is working with law enforcement officers and social workers, increasing their understanding of online exploitation and response strategies. They are also helping the Government of Ghana review the legal framework and propose online child protection-related amendments to deter online crime, punish offenders and ensure the protection of child victims. This support includes the establishment of the first child protection digital forensics lab for the Ghana Police Service, which will help prevent and respond to cases of online child protection. UNICEF Ghana is also working with the government to integrate awareness on child safety into existing programmes and campaigns, ensuring that children, adolescents and caregivers are equipped with the knowledge they need to stay safe online. The agency is also working within the private sector, both boosting corporate social responsibility and accountable of online violence and stimulating self-regulation of the telecommunications sector, among other activities.

Jordan

UNICEF Jordan

January 2017 – December 2019

UNICEF Jordan is using support from the Fund to improve services for children and families experiencing online child sexual exploitation and abuse. To do so, the agency is building national capacity through the Prevention of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children Unit, which sits under the Family Protection Department Public Security Directorate. This unit is mandated to identify and handle cases of online sexual exploitation of children and has seen 146 of these cases proceed to trial. UNICEF Jordan is linking this unit to the INTERPOL International Child Sexual Exploitation Database, enhancing their ability to identify and support children that have experienced online violence.

UNICEF Jordan is also helping to strengthen child helplines, and supporting partners to develop standard operating procedures and national standards for reporting management and referrals. This work is ensuring that when someone calls the helpline, they are supported in the most effective, appropriate ways possible. UNICEF Jordan is also working with government stakeholders to review and recommend updates to existing legislation to ensure children are better protected online. Furthermore, it has used support from the Fund to hold a social media campaign on the risks of online exploitation, which reached over 30,000 parents and children throughout the country.

Kenya

UNICEF Kenya

March 2018 – February 2021

With support from the Fund, UNICEF Kenya is enhancing national capacities to prevent and respond to online child abuse and exploitation. The project has improved and expanded service provision to children who have been subjected to abuse and exploitation. The Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit will, thanks to the Fund’s support, now be expanded from Nairobi to Mombasa. The project is also enhancing the capacity of judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and social workers to improve access of children who have been subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation to appropriate support services. UNICEF Kenya has also supported the establishment of a Technical Working Group, which is chaired by the Communications Authority of Kenya and comprised of all relevant government agencies. This group is charged with coordinating online child protection work in Kenya. In addition, the project is supporting the development and finalization of an assessment of the Model National Response, along with a related plan of action to address child online protection. Community outreach and awareness-raising on child online protection is also a key component of the project and targets children, adolescents, caregivers and teachers.

Madagascar

UNICEF Madagascar

March 2018 – January 2020

UNICEF Madagascar is using Fund support to educate children, youth and caregivers on online child sexual exploitation and abuse, ensuring families know how to report cases of violence and address online sexual exploitation. In addition, UNICEF Madagascar is strengthening existing services in place to protect children, integrating specific measures for addressing online sexual exploitation and abuse into the National Child Helpline and Madagascar’s “One Stop Centres,” which provide children who have experienced sexual violence with access to medical and psychosocial care. In these centres, the child protection service division of the police are all located under one roof. To ensure perpetrators are investigated and prosecuted, UNICEF Madagascar is training judges, police, social service providers, prosecutors and other members of the justice system, ensuring they have the tools they need to handle an online child sexual exploitation and abuse case. UNICEF Madagascar is also strengthening the country’s existing database on sex offenders. In addition, the agency is collecting data on online child sexual exploitation and abuse, identifying the trends and drivers of the issue to tackle it at its roots.

Mexico

Child Rights Protection Office (Oficina de Defensoría de Los Derechos de la Infancia)

January 2017 – September 2019

Since January of 2017, the Fund has helped Mexico’s Child Rights Protection Office (Oficina de Defensoría de Los Derechos de la Infancia, or ODI) strengthen the capacity of lawyers and caseworkers representing child victims of online sexual exploitation. The agency works with child protection services to ensure holistic protection and reinstitution plans for victims of online violence; it also monitors the number and progress of related criminal cases. ODI trains judges and judicial authorities on child rights and safety and implements specialised procedures to ease child testimony and minimise re-traumatisation. In addition, ODI has developed an online resource portal with training and orientation materials, helping judicial and social service staff access essential information from across the country.

Mongolia

UNICEF Mongolia

March 2018 – February 2020

In Mongolia, the Fund is supporting UNICEF Mongolia’s project to increase national-level commitment to ending online child sexual exploitation and abuse. UNICEF Mongolia is pushing to implement the Model National Response approach in Mongolia, which was created by the WePROTECT Global Alliance to help countries build programming and services around online child sexual exploitation and abuse. As part of this process, UNICEF Mongolia is improving helpline reporting and referral processes, developing new support services for children who have experienced online abuse, and raising awareness of the issue among children, caregivers, teachers and childcare professionals. The project is also engaged the information, communications and technology industry to remove and block child abuse materials.

In addition, UNICEF Mongolia has provided technical support to the government, law enforcement and industry experts, helping these stakeholders access international good practices and effective solutions to prevent and respond to online child sexual exploitation and abuse. This is being done in partnership with regional and global experts, including Interpol, Facebook, the International Telecommunication Union, and Child Helpline International. UNICEF Mongolia is also commissioning a situational analysis on risks and responses to this issue, which will help national stakeholders make evidence-based decisions to increase children’s safety.

Namibia

UNICEF Namibia

December 2016 – December 2019

In Namibia, the Fund helped UNICEF Namibia establish an online reporting portal, which now provides the public with a way to anonymously report cases of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. This project has also educated teachers, caregivers and children themselves, raising awareness of online child sexual exploitation and abuse through trainings, events and the celebration of Safer Internet Day. UNICEF Namibia is also working directly with national law enforcement, including the police, prosecutors and members of the judiciary system. By establishing gender-based violence protection units and supporting the National Task Force on Online Child Protection, the agency is strengthening services for children while increasing the issue’s priority on the national agenda.

In addition, UNICEF Namibia is engaging the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology by conducting advocacy activities toward Namibian Internet service providers and mobile operators. The agency is also pushing for adherence to regional and global Internet codes of conduct, among other activities.

Palestine

The Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution

March 2018 – February 2021

With support from the Fund, the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution is raising awareness about online child sexual exploitation and abuse in Palestine. By holding workshops for children, parents, school counselors, teachers, law enforcement agencies and child protection organisations, the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution is boosting understanding of the issue for all those affected and increasing agencies’ ability to respond to such cases when they occur. They are also training young people to become youth educators on the topic, and organizing awareness campaigns through television, radio, billboards and printed materials. In addition, the organisation is commissioning a study on online child sexual exploitation and abuse to inform Palestine’s National Strategic Plan. As part of this process, they are also conducting meetings and workshops for those at-risk of (and interested in ending) online violence, including children, parents and community-based organisations.

Peru

Capital Humano y Social Alternativo (CHS) 

June 2017 – June 2020

In Peru, the Fund is supporting Capital Humano y Social Alternativo (CHS) to address child sexual exploitation online. CHS is providing psychological and legal assistance to victims of online sexual exploitation. They are also working to prevent such situations through media campaigns, community-based awareness initiatives, and direct involvement with the technology industry. One of those initiatives includes engaging teachers, parents, child service providers, government officials, and members of the judicial system in trainings about online exploitation. Through these trainings, the organisation is increasing communities’ awareness of the issue and strengthening response mechanisms to prevent it. CHS is also working with young people directly by implementing peer-led trainings in schools.

CHS carried out an investigation in seven regions of the project’s intervention, evaluating the services currently provided to victims of violence. This study was a qualitative investigation that identified individuals’ knowledge and perceptions of online child sexual exploitation and analysed the resources available for those who have experienced such violence. The investigation also resulted in the development of case studies, which were used to enrich CHS’ programming. Going forward, CHS is using this research to inform its advocacy efforts and promote change. Lastly, as part of the National Children’s Action Plan committee, CHS is helping to integrate prevention of online sexual exploitation into the committee’s agenda and develop national protocols and response strategies to address online violence.

Save the Children Sweden

June 2017 – December 2019

In Peru, the Fund is supporting Save the Children Sweden’s programme to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse, which is operating on different levels. The organisation has reached hundreds of children with information on online violence by training adolescent leaders who cascade information to their peers, broadcasting messages in schools, and empowering adolescents to lead public events about the risks and dangers of online abuse. Save the Children has also promoted activism among adolescents, helping them promote awareness through communications campaigns and dialogue spaces with authorities.

The project is also reaching adults: for example, they have developed an online course, Prevention of Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents in Online Environments, for child protection service providers. They are also training members of the criminal justice system, developing curricula for teachers, education staff and health care providers, and increasing knowledge of online sexual exploitation and abuse within schools.

The Fund’s support has also allowed Save the Children Sweden to conduct a baseline study on sexual violence and its impact on children, and create national communications and advocacy campaigns to raise awareness of online sexual violence against children.

Philippines

International Justice Mission

January 2017 – December 2019

International Justice Mission (IJM) has used the Fund’s support to train and mentor law enforcement officials in the Philippines, increasing their ability to prosecute individuals engaging in online child exploitation and abuse. As part of this program, law enforcement officials are shown how to work with digital evidence and conduct investigations in more effective ways.

IJM is also working with Philippines law enforcement to rescue victims of online child exploitation and abuse. The organisation is also working directly with aftercare shelters, foster care providers and government social workers to help these children recover from their experiences, expanding and improving the quality of child protection services to do so. From the start of the grant until July 2019, 123 children have been rescued from ongoing situations of online exploitation and abuse and 42 suspected perpetrators arrested.

Plan International UK

June 2017 – May 2020

In the Philippines, Plan International is working in the Philippines to ensure children are protected from online sexual exploitation and abuse, perpetrators are apprehended and prosecutors and children enjoy the benefits of the Internet free from danger. This project is aligned with the Model National Response. It helps children learn to protect themselves from online sexual exploitation by establishing peer support groups, and giving them the knowledge and skills to roll out awareness sessions in their schools and communities. The project also trains parents, teachers, social service providers and other adults to become advocates for cyber safety. At the industry level, the project is also engaging Internet service providers and other technology companies in the fight against online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Rwanda

The University of East London

November 2018 – July 2019

In Rwanda, the University of East London partnered with 5Rights Foundation and the University of Rwanda to support to the Government of Rwanda in its development of a Child Online Protection Policy and its Implementation Plan. Together, these partners used the support from the Fund to assess gaps in the current system in place to protect children online, convene a cross-sectoral working group of international and Rwandan experts to improve that system; and hold a consultation with key stakeholders to draw directly on their experiences. The Child Online Protection Policy and Implementation Plan was approved by the Cabinet in June 2019.

South Africa

UNICEF South Africa

May 2018 – April 2021

The Fund is helping UNICEF South Africa promote positive Internet use while deterring online violence, exploitation and abuse. The agency is creating tools on online safety and integrating them into existing programmes and platforms to create awareness among parents, children and communities. They are also training religious leaders on children’s rights and violence against children and supporting faith-based organisations to establish child protection reporting mechanisms. In addition, UNICEF South Africa is working with the National Department of Social Development to implement the 365 Days Child Protection Programme, a social mobilisation campaign that is spurring dialogue about violence against children in communities throughout the country. UNICEF South Africa is also conducting a survey on children’s behaviour online according to the Global Kids Online methodology to inform legislative and policy reform and implementation. The findings of this study will inform the relevant programme development. In addition, UNICEF South Africa is boosting the knowledge and skills of children, families and communities to help children safely use the Internet, and is increasing children’s access to victim services, among other activities working to create awareness, identify children exposed to violence, and refer those children to services.

Sri Lanka

Save the Children Denmark

March 2018 – November 2020

In Sri Lanka, Internet connectivity has skyrocketed: over the past 10 years, the country has seen a 600 per cent increase in connections, representing more than 25 million mobile phones. Though rates of online child sexual exploitation and abuse have increased, Sri Lanka’s ability to handle the issue is limited. To mitigate this problem, since March 2018, the Fund has supported Save the Children’s program to enhance national prevention and response mechanisms. The organisation is working with the Government of Sri Lanka to create a fully costed National Action Plan, the aim of which is to bring down rates of child sexual exploitation and abuse, prosecute perpetrators of such violence, and restore the rights of child victims.

The programme is also strengthening and improving the national helpline facility and establishing a cybercrime unit at the National Child Protection Authority. As part of this work, the agency is developing a Victim Support Service that is linked to the helpline. This service provides psychosocial support to those affected and helps coordinate legal and law enforcement agencies. It also strengthens follow-up services for children and their families. In addition, the program is working at the local level as well as the national one: through Fund support, Save the Children in creating a school-based Internet safety awareness program. By incorporating this program into the national education curricula (and developing relevant instructional materials), the organisation is ensuring that children in Sri Lanka have the information they need to protect themselves from online sexual exploitation and abuse.

Tanzania

UNICEF Tanzania

March 2018 – February 2021

Through support from the Fund, UNICEF Tanzania is strengthening its ongoing child protection work by establishing and supporting the national Child Online Safety Task Force, which seeks to enhance the capacity of frontline service providers in responding to cases of online exploitation. These service providers include those who directly interact with children who have experienced online abuse, such as social welfare officers, police and managers of the child helpline. UNICEF Tanzania is also working to improve community-based mechanisms to prevent and respond to issues of online exploitation, building the ability of children, teachers and caregivers to identify, manage and report situations of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. Through parenting groups in villages – and sessions inside classrooms – UNICEF Tanzania is both raising awareness and decreasing community-wide acceptance of violence, both on and offline.

Uganda

UNICEF Uganda

December 2016 – December 2020

UNICEF Uganda is using support from the Fund to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and abuse. The agency is working directly with the Government of Uganda to integrate mechanisms for prevention, reporting and response into the national child protection system. They are also making related resources available across the social welfare, education, health and justice sectors. As part of this process, UNICEF Uganda is holding outreach and awareness sessions inside of schools in partnership with Uganda Child Helpline and the Uganda Police Force and other national partners. In 2018 alone, the agency reached more than 35,000 children with information on online protection in three urban districts. To increase understanding of online child sexual exploitation and abuse within the judicial system, UNICEF Uganda is also facilitating training for justice sector officials, and developing standard operating procedures to help police navigate cases of children experiencing gender-based violence and online sexual exploitation and abuse. UNICEF Uganda is also assisting the government to integrate the issues of online child sexual exploitation and abuse in the national key policy and legislation so that the country systematically addresses the issues.

Vietnam

ChildFund Australia

July 2017 – June 2020

Since July 2017, the Fund has supported ChildFund Australia’s Swipe Safe program in Vietnam, which aims to help young people navigate the Internet safely by educating them on potential risks, such as cyber scams, bullying or sexual abuse, and offering them strategies to protect themselves. ChildFund Australia designed, created and tested a training program to promote online safety – and ever since, the curriculum has been adapted by non-governmental organisations not just in Vietnam, but in Laos and Myanmar as well. Swipe Safe mobilizes parents, youth, schools and the private sector to play an active role in children’s online safety. The program is providing training for parents and Internet café owners and managers to identify and address risks that might happen to children, from online to offline and vice versa.

It also supports schools to develop child-friendly policies and guidance on online safety. Swipe Safe is active in advocating to the national government with lessons learned to inform national policy and response, and linking such legislation with the strengthening of existing structures. A key innovation of the program is that it engages young volunteers in local communities with extensive knowledge on technology to train young people and others, as these trainers can more directly relate to their peers’ experiences and help keep the curriculum up-to-date.

World Vision Vietnam

March 2018 – February 2021

In Vietnam, World Vision is bringing online violence prevention to schools, communities, social services, and the information, communications and technology sector. In schools, the organization is using support from the Fund to teach children how to protect themselves from online violence via the children’s groups, and design and implement child-led initiatives in target schools. In addition, World Vision is also training parents and teachers on how to protect children from online violence. These initiatives have reached thousands of children, parents and teachers since the project’s inception, using child-friendly activities such as plays, songs, quizzes and competitions to increase awareness of Internet safety.

With support from the Fund, World Vision is also training operators and counsellors of the Da Nang Center for Social Work, strengthening the child helpline and increasing social workers’ ability to deal with cases of online sexual exploitation and abuse. By holding seminars and workshops, World Vision is increasing awareness of such issues and urging information, communications and technology professionals to respond within their sectors. This includes working directly with Vietnam’s Department of Information and Communication and helping the government develop and implement recognized Internet safety standards for online child protection.

Marie Collins Foundation

March 2019 – February 2022

With support from the Fund, the Marie Collins Foundation is rolling out a global online resource, the Global Protection Online Network, to help practitioners improve their service response for victims of online violence. Within this platform, members can access relevant materials, templates and research documents to strengthen their programmes around online violence; they will also have access to a digital “help desk.” By December of 2019, all safeguarding professionals around the world will be able to access this resource. In addition, the Foundation will design and implement a pilot in Vietnam, developing a programme to build national infrastructure and as such, better respond to the needs of children that have been exploited or abused online.

Regional

Council of Europe

July 2018 – December 2020

The Council of Europe is using support from the Fund to promote, facilitate and support national efforts to prevent and fight against online child exploitation and abuse. Though the project covers all 47 Council of Europe member states, target activities are ongoing in 10 focus countries, including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. To end online violence against children, the project is:

  • Establishing enabling environments for cross-sectoral, multidisciplinary collaboration at the national and regional levels;
  • Supporting legislative and procedural reforms and training law enforcement officials, judiciary members, and prosecutors to better respond to cases of online child sexual exploitation and abuse;
  • Improving cooperation between the above agencies to ensure end-to-end support for children affected by online violence; and
  • Raising awareness of online violence by engaging directly with children.

Countries involved: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine

South Asian Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC)

August 2017 – November 2019

The South Asian Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) used the support from the Fund to end online child exploitation and abuse in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. A regional strategy on addressing this issue has been prepared and is now ready for political endorsement. Regional efforts generated momentum at the national level; as of mid-2019, national level plans have been prepared and finalised in Nepal and Sri Lanka, while other countries are in the process of developing their national plans or revitalizing their legal systems and enforcement mechanisms. In addition, SAIEVAC has expanded the development of a regional overview on child sexual exploitation and abuse. To do so, the organisation has worked with national mechanisms (including governments) to develop country profiles on child sexual exploitation and abuse, which provide insights into the country context. These country profiles also provide information on the legal, policy and enforcement environment in each country.

Countries involved: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO)

December 2016 – April 2020

UNICEF’s East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) is using support from the Fund to prevent and end online violence throughout the region. To do so, the office is:

  • Engaging the information, communications and technology sector to increase the use of effective practices in the industry;
  • Promoting learning across the region to aid the criminal justice sector and discover solutions to online child sexual exploitation and abuse;
  • Conducting research into children’s use of social media and possible online risks and opportunities in the region, and developing some recommendations for the private sector to promote child online safety;
  • Reviewing existing educational materials on child online protection produced or used by governments in the region, and recommending ways to improve these;
  • Reviewing existing educational materials produced by non-governmental organisations and the private sector that aim to protect children online, and developing an evaluation framework in partnership with the ICT private sector to assess their impact on behavior change, with the aim of enhancing the quality and reach of educational initiatives for children, increasing their access to quality and effective resources and information on online safety; and
  • Convening a regional conference on child online protection in collaboration with UNODC, the ITU, and the ASEAN, to bring together stakeholders from across the region to share lessons learned and promote inter-sectoral and cross-sectoral discussions and action planning.

Countries involved: Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, China, and Pacific sub-region

Global

Bringing Light to the Dark Web: Thorn

March 2019 – March 2021

The Fund is supporting Thorn's Bringing Light to the Dark Web project, a global initiative that uses a new tool to help law enforcement identify children who are victims of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. Thorn helps gather the most important pieces of information related to child sexual abuse material online to support law enforcement investigations. By expanding the initiative's reach, Thorn hopes to achieve the following goals:

  • Remove more children, faster, from abusive situations;
  • Reduce the time it takes to identify new child sexual abuse material;
  • Reduce the investigative time required to identify a child in abuse material;
  • Foster collaboration among law enforcement worldwide.

To date, Thorn has helped law enforcement in over 55 countries find over 800 children whose abuse material has appeared online.

Disrupting Harm: ECPAT International, INTERPOL, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti

March 2019 – March 2021

Disrupting Harm is a large-scale data collection and research project to better understand online child sexual exploitation and abuse across the world. This study, which is supported by the Fund, will assess the scale, nature and context of this issue in 14 countries across Southern and Eastern Africa and Southeast Asia. Three grantee partners will work together to conduct the study, including ECPAT International, INTERPOL and the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti. ECPAT International will establish context by conducting extensive research to map the policy and legal landscapes around online child sexual exploitation and abuse, while INTERPOL will analyse threat through the collection and analysis of crime data. The UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti will ensure children’s voices are heard within the study and conduct household surveys in countries throughout the world. Researchers will interview national law enforcement, frontline service providers and justice actors, gather information and data from helpline and hotline operators, and interview child victims, parents and caregivers. The findings of this study are expected to be published in early 2021. Countries involved: Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, Child Helpline International

March 2018 – May 2020

With support from the Fund, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) is teaming up with Child Helpline International to promote enhanced, end-to-end support for children who have experienced online child sexual exploitation and abuse. In five countries – Jordan, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines and Tanzania – the two organisations are working with local partners to conduct needs assessments, identify existing programs and agencies working toward online safety, and convene trainings with relevant agencies to improve children’s protection online. To do so, the project is modelling its interventions on the “Model National Response” approach, which was created by the WePROTECT Global Alliance. This approach helps countries build their response to online child sexual exploitation and abuse. In addition, the project is creating eLearning modules, which will ensure continuous learning for everyone, everywhere, within the target countries. Importantly, the project is also improving the services of child helplines in each country, ensuring individuals working at helpline agencies are equipped to deal with online child sexual exploitation and abuse issues, and are able to provide proper referrals to authorities and care centres. Countries involved: Jordan, Kenya, Peru, Philippines, Tanzania

Internet Watch Foundation

July 2017 – June 2021

With support from the Fund, the Internet Watch Foundation is progressing its mission to eliminate child sexual abuse from the internet by working in 30 countries – the majority of which are in Africa – to implement web-based portals for citizens to report online child sexual abuse content and make the Internet a safer place for children and adults around the world. The aim of the project is to support countries without anywhere to report images and videos of child sexual abuse.

IWF provides a reporting button which feeds directly to their expert analysts in the UK, who assess the reports according to UK Law and work to remove the content as quickly as possible from the internet. Online child sexual abuse imagery is a global problem that demands a global solution: the project brings together governments, police, the internet industry and civil society, to do what’s needed to free the internet of child sexual abuse

To better explain the impact of the project the IWF has shared Olivia’s story. Olivia was subject to appalling sexual abuse from the age of three until she was rescued aged eight. But the trauma of child sexual abuse doesn’t end when the abuse stops. Olivia’s abuse was recorded, and the pictures and videos of her torture shared online. So, despite her physical abuse ending when she was rescued in 2013, the IWF still see her images at least five times a day, every day, as they are distributed across the internet. For Olivia, and others like her, its essential that we do everything possible to remove her images and work with partners to stop the abuse and stop the demand for the images.

Countries Involved Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Burundi, Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia and Zambia

UNICEF Child Protection Programme Division

March 2018 – February 2021

With support from the Fund, the UNICEF Child Protection Programme Division is working with a wide range of partners at the national, regional and global levels with support of UNICEF country offices. Together, these actors are working to end online child sexual exploitation and abuse in 34 target countries in seven regions. The project’s goals include:

  • Increasing government commitment to preventing and responding to child sexual exploitation and abuse through global advocacy, including pushing forward the Model National Response of the WePROTECT Global Alliance. In addition, UNICEF is supporting the WeProtect Global Alliance as an advisory board member.
  • Supporting governments to adapt comprehensive responsive mechanisms in-line with the WePROTECT Global Alliance’s Model National Response approach, which helps countries build their response to online child sexual exploitation and abuse. This is being done through workshops and webinars with key stakeholders, along with an accessible, available roster of experts with specific expertise on the Model National Response.
  • Documenting the implementation of the Model National Response around the world.
  • Contributing to the generation of evidence and use of evidence-based programming related to online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • Increasing collaboration between governments, civil society, the private sector, and international organisations, and ensuring they exchange knowledge and learnings about online child sexual exploitation prevention and response.
  • Boosting the skills and knowledge of children and caregivers to prevent online child sexual exploitation and abuse risks through the #ReplyforALL platform and others. These platforms provide educational resources for children on online safety, among other activities.
  • Supporting the coordination and effective participation of national delegates at the WePROTECT Global Summit in collaboration with UNICEF field offices.

In addition, the project is advocating with governments and supporting the realization of national commitments via the WePROTECT Statement of Action, which outlines what countries and organisations can do to stop those who use the Internet for sexual exploitation of children. UNICEF is also working alongside the information, communications and technology sectors in target countries, attempting to inform their policy and enhance their capacity to address online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

The World Health Organization

August 2018 - July 2021

The World Health Organisation is using the Fund to explore current systems of prevention and response to online child sexual exploitation and abuse. These findings will support governments and civil society organisations, giving them the tools and evidence they need to implement effective, evidence-based programs to keep children safe online.

After determining what works and does not work around preventing and responding to sexual and emotional online child abuse, the project will produce accessible informational documents, including policy briefs, infographics and multimedia, which will be appropriate for a variety of audiences. The project is also holding two major international conferences to inform the programming of international organisations, development partners and civil society organisations, and providing technical support to pathfinding countries engaged in the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

Countries involved: El Salvador, Sri Lanka, Uganda

 

Our humanitarian window includes the below projects, which were all completed before or by May 2019. 

Nigeria

International Rescue Committee

With support from the Fund, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has reached thousands of children in north-eastern Nigeria. The Boko Haram crisis has forced more than 1.4 million children to flee their homes. Ten years after the beginning of the insurgency, repeated attacks have left entire villages barren and burned. More than 20,000 people have been killed, while more than 4,000 have been abducted. As with any conflict, children in Nigeria are paying the highest price for something completely out of their control. More than 800 schools across the region have been closed, and many have been irreparably destroyed. Violence against women and children is increasing, especially by members of armed groups, the military, and the national government’s emergency management personnel. And of every four suicide bombers, one is a child.

To support children struggling with displacement, trauma and ongoing violence, the Fund is supporting the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) programmes in north-eastern Nigeria. From March 2018 to May 2019, support from the Fund help the IRC:

  • Reach over 2,000 children with individualized social services, 48 per cent of whom were girls. These services, which were facilitated through an improved case management system, were implemented in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria.
  • Boosted awareness of child rights to over 6,2000 community members, integrating community-specific protection concerns and creating contingency plans for future security threats.
  • Established a free telephone line for community feedback, including complaints, suggestions, and opinions on the projects IRC implements. This tool is a way for communities to report their opinions and questions anonymously. IRC used these suggestions to amend their activities.

Mine Advisory Group

North-eastern Nigeria has been plagued by violence for the last ten years. During that time, the region has become steeped in a landmine crisis: from January 2016 to March 2018, 439 died and 144 were injured by landmines and exploding bombs, 30 percent of whom were children. During that time, the region one person was killed or injured every 1.5 days – making Nigeria home to one of the ten highest casualty rates in the world. Boko Haram and its splinter groups have frequently deployed locally-manufactured landmines on roads, fields and villages – many of which lay dormant until triggered after an attack.

To protect children, families and communities from landmines, the Fund helped Mine Advisory Group deliver mine risk education to over 565 adults and 42,000 children, 50 per cent of whom were girls. After these sessions, participants were better able to identify explosive devices and were more likely to stay safe.

Through this project, the Mine Advisory Group also piloted the Remote Contamination Baseline Assessment methodology, which collected data on contaminated areas through focus group discussions among internally displaced persons. These individuals would report the level of contamination in the location they came from, and based on this information, Mine Advisory Group created a map of contamination for places people should avoid. It also helped prioritise the most-needed areas for demining. This map will ultimately help the country clear its land from mines.

Street Child

To support children and families struggling with displacement, trauma and violence, Street Child used support from the Fund to reach children in Borno State, Adamawa State and Yobe State. These projects targeted internally displaced persons, returnees and host communities.

During the project, Street Child: Provided opportunities for sustainable incomes and train families on vocational skills, including 510 caregivers who started small projects for sustained income, 82 per cent of whom were female Empowered 618 caregivers with positive parenting skills Raised awareness on child rights, along with the roles and responsibilities of all community members.

In addition, Street Child sensitised community leaders, teachers and government officers on the reintegration of children associated with armed groups. These activities work to decrease stigma and increase compassion for these children. Support 14,866 children – 53 per cent of whom are girls – with stress management and life skills, including 50 children formerly associated with armed groups Created a referral and response mechanism for community volunteers and service providers. This mechanism, which was publicised through signposts, created smoother interventions, decreased duplication of activities, and strengthened target service provision.

Terre des Hommes

To support children and families struggling with displacement, trauma and violence, Terre des Hommes used support from the Fund to reach internally displaced persons and returnees in Borno State. Throughout the project, they:

  • Equipped over 5,000 children and caregivers, 54 per cent of whom were female, with stress management skills through age- and gender-appropriate psychosocial support.
  • Provided awareness-raising sessions for 19,700 community members by engaging 50 community-based child protection focal points, the latter of which are community volunteers trained to be the “go-to” persons for child protection within communities.
  • Child protection focal points monitor, refer and report abuse cases, while also conducting awareness-raising activities and mediating conflicts within their communities.
  • Engage over 800 children in life-skills training, all of whom fled from active conflict situations.
  • Reach 325 children with individualised case management services, improving children’s self-reliance and confidence and helping them deal with trauma.

UNICEF Nigeria

With support from the Fund, UNICEF Nigeria has been advocating with the Government of Nigeria to find these separated children and reunite them with their families. Throughout the year, the agency has also released children in military detention centres and removed children from armed groups. To do so, UNICEF Nigeria established a referral mechanism in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Government of Nigeria, and the UN Humanitarian Air Service. Together, these groups have cultivated a family tracing and reunification process that is both interstate and international; as a result, 1,911 children have been reunified with their families or returned to their community of origin. UNICEF Nigeria has also trained over 22,000 community members to prepare for the return of these children, increasing awareness of the support they need to get back on their feet.

Uganda

Lutheran World Federation

Uganda is home to over 900,000 child refugees and asylum seekers. The majority of these children are from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, countries that have been plagued by violence for years on end. After watching armed groups ransack their homes, these children often had no choice but to leave everything behind and start over – attempting to rebuild in overcrowded, under-resourced refugee camps miles from their homes.

In the north of the country, the Lutheran World Federation is using support from the Fund to make life a little easier for child refugees. From March 2018 to May 2019, the organisation:

  • Increased children’s awareness of child abuse, neglect and early marriage by hosting child-led plays in refugee camps and host communities, all of which were attended by government officials, teachers, community members, child protection actors and other children. Through these plays, the Lutheran World Foundation empowered children to spread messages on children’s issues to nearly 9,500 people.
  • Established Child Rights Clubs alongside school administrators, increasing child-friendly approaches to education and an anonymous reporting system to manage cases of child abuse and exploitation. This reporting system, which was called the Complaints and Response Mechanism, also gave children a way to voice other safety concerns.
  • Provided individual services, including age- and gender-appropriate psychosocial support, to 10,800 children.
  • Engaged 10,100 children in life-skills sessions, building their ability to earn a sustainable, productive income.

Association for Volunteers in International Service (AVSI)

Association for Volunteers in International Service (AVSI) used support from the Fund to:

  • Successfully advocate for birth registration of children under the age of 5 from host and refugee communities, resulting in almost 16,000 children identified for registration. Of those, over 7,750 children were successfully registered in the government system.
  • Increase children’s safety in seven schools on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. To do so, AVSI utilized the Good Schools Toolkit methodology, which was developed by Raising Voices, a member organisation of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. The Good Schools Toolkit decreases violence in schools by emphasizing the importance of positive discipline, nurturing school environments, progressive learning methodologies, and strengthened school governance.
  • Improve children’s home environments by training over 3,000 caregivers in positive parenting skills and positive discipline.

Save the Children Norway

To help children recover from their experiences, Save the Children reached over 8,300 children with psychosocial support, 4,000 of whom received individualized social services through the organisation’s case management services.

Save the Children also created a platform for over 10,700 community members to come together and discuss their shared concerns, covering topics like improving referral pathways, building peace within communities, increasing children’s participation, and child-friendly space functionality. In addition, this number includes children engaged in community dialogue meetings, where they discussed feedback on alternative care arrangements and other child protection issues. At these events, adults, community leaders and children themselves came up with shared solutions, raising awareness of essential child protection issues and coming up with ways to collectively remedy them. In addition, the organisation also engaged 1,300 caregivers in sessions on positive parenting skills.

Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation

To help children recover from what they have seen, the Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation used support from the Fund to implement a multi-faceted psychosocial response program. As a result, more than 16,250 children gained healthier stress management skills. Nearly 5,300 caregivers were trained on positive parenting skills, boosting their ability to care for their children and manage their own trauma, loss and experiences. In addition, the Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation reached 20,400 community members with messages on children’s rights, and the roles and responsibilities community members hold to make environments safer for children.

UNICEF Uganda

To protect children and prevent further episodes of violence, UNICEF Uganda is using support from the Fund to strengthen government-led child protection mechanisms. By providing technical support to child protection actors (and pushing for collective agreements on the roles and responsibilities of the government at different levels) UNICEF Uganda is increasing the overall coordination of child protection mechanisms, improving their ability to effectively support children. UNICEF Uganda is also unifying tools and referral mechanisms to boost the efficacy of case management services.

UNHCR Uganda

With support from the Fund, UNHCR Uganda conducted an assessment with nearly 11,000 children, 49 per cent of whom were girls, to identify those most at-risk (including those who were separated from their families or had survived sexual and gender-based violence). The agency developed a new reporting platform – Activity Info – to improve data management. As a result, UNHCR was able to strengthen case management systems for children, facilitating their access to individualised services and support.

World Vision Uganda

To help refugee children and adolescents reclaim their lives, World Vision Uganda is using support from the Fund to reach 750 adolescents with skills training sessions in mechanics, catering, tailoring, hairdressing and carpentry, giving them the tools they need to start their own businesses. Participants of these sessions continue to be supported with both starter kits and supporter groups, helping them share their experiences and best practices and collaborate on shared solutions.

The organisation has also reached over 600,000 people with information on violence against children and children’s rights Over three million people with two radio broadcast on violence against children. These broadcasts were in the form of radio talk shows, including panellists like the District Probation Officer, the Social Welfare Officer, an officer from the Office of the Prime Minister, and World Vision staff. These individuals discussed the causes and effects of violence against children, along with the referral pathways available and the role different stakeholders play in prevention and response. During these shows, the public called in to raise issues, ask questions and provide feedback.