Children who have experienced online sexual abuse come up with recommendations for authorities

Ten survivors of online sexual abuse and exploitation have taken part in an international study aimed at assessing the quality of support services provided to children subjected to such experiences. 54 social specialists from our country, who provide services to children, also participated in this research.

The research Child online sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Survivors’ perspectives in Moldova was carried aut by the International Center La Strada under a project implemented by the Global WeProtect Alliance in partnership with ECPAT International network.

The project aims to investigate the phenomenon of online sexual exploitation and abuse of children in six countries, including the Republic of Moldova (the other five are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). The study is based on the survivors' perspectives and impressions about existing reporting mechanisms and the services they were provided in childhood, when they went through traumatic experiences.

The main conclusions and recommendations of the research were presented today at a round table, which was attended by representatives of public authorities, law enforcement, NGOs in the field of child protection, social specialists and development partners. The event took place in the context of the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation, marked annually on November 18.

Most of the survivors received a wide range of services during the criminal process (psychological, social, legal assistance) provided by both non-governmental organizations and some state institutions at different times. Here are the main recommendations of the beneficiaries, as a result of the interaction with various specialists:

• Support and reporting services for cases of sexual abuse need to be promoted more effectively. Any child who goes through the experience of abuse and exploitation in the online environment should know where to report abuse and who are the specialists who can help them.

• Parents or carers of children who have been abused online should also receive support from specialists to better understand what happened to the child.

• Children should be able to choose the professionals they interact with, including whether they prefer to talk to a man or a woman.

• Further efforts are needed to avoid repeated trauma to children and to ensure confidentiality at all stages of the justice process and in the provision of support services.

• There is a need for a service to block and remove child sexual abuse material from the Internet.

The authors of the research hope that these recommendations will be taken into account by public authorities, especially by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection in the process of developing the new National Program for Child Protection.

The briefing paper of the research, in Romanian, can be accessed here:

The full document, in English, can be accessed here:

WePropect Global Alliance is an international organization that brings together experts from government, private sector and civil society to develop policies and solutions to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online.  

ECPAT International is a global network of 122 civil society organisations in 104 countries. With over 30 years of experience in engaging with and managing multi-stakeholder processes and alliances across national, regional and global levels, ECPAT is considered to be at the helm of all issues and manifestations pertaining to the sexual exploitation of children.  




Hot Lines