Online sexual exploitation as Globalization Homemade Problems
Online sexual exploitation is a global epidemic that is increasing at an alarming rate. At any one time, 750,000 individuals across the world are looking to connect with children and young people online for sexual exploitation. Advances in information and communications technologies and increasingly sophisticated digital tools that provide anonymity mean the number of potential victims is growing exponentially, and so too is the pool of those seeking to abuse them. In 2019, record-breaking 70 million total images and videos were reported to NICMEC, an enormous increase on the1.1 million it received in 2014. One in three Internet users are under 18 years, and more children own or have access to Internet-enabled smart devices. Social media has created new opportunities for would-be offenders to interact with children anonymously and unsupervised. Sexualized images of girls and young women are ubiquitous in advertising, merchandising, and the entertainment industry. New data gathered by United Kingdom- based internet watchdog the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) revealed that 30 percent of sexually explicit images of children found online are self-generated. The IWF took action over 124,605 images found online between January and November 2019. Over three-quarters of these images (78 percent) featured children aged 11 to 13, mostly girls.