Protecting Children in Cyberspace

Protecting Children in Cyberspace

July 2009 – In the past ten years the number of internet users has increased from 186 million to 1.5 billion; in the same period, Interpol (the world’s largest international police organization) went from 12 reports of child abuse material per year to 1.5 million. The cyber safety of the world’s children is a growing concern. This was one of the issues at the recent 2009 WSIS Global Forum, part of the continuing follow up to the World Summit on the Information Society held in 2003 and in 2005. GWI participated in several of the 2009 Global Forum workshops, including one on Protecting Children from Cyber-exploitation. The workshop highlighted the numerous threats to children who do not possess the judgment to recognize and deal with online predators, improper content, and potential exploitation.


The threats are not all external. Michael Moran, of Interpol, warned that young girls are too often exploring their own sexuality in a very public, online atmosphere, instead of in a safe private environment. They have the technology to upload pictures and video onto the web. In these instances the girl is both the victim and the perpetrator. Children and adults must learn to be more media literate together in order to have the safest online experience possible. To help end cyber exploitation of children, Interpol is encouraging people worldwide to report any explicit photos of children to their regional Interpol offices for entry in an international databank. A photo reported in one country can help to save a report in another.

Quick links

Back to Advocacy News

GWI’s office is relocating to another Geneva location on 16 August.  For a few days, we will have limited access to our emails, telephone and website. We appreciate your understanding during this time of positive change. We will be back to normal working conditions on Monday, 21 August.


Thank you, GWI Staff.


Les bureaux de GWI seront en cours de déménagement a Geneve le 16 Août. Pendant quelques jours, nous aurons un accès limité à nous emails, téléphone et site web. Nous vous remercions d’avance pour votre compréhension pendant ce changement. Nous serons de retour à la normale le lundi 21 Août.


Merci, l’équipe GWI.