In October 2018, It’s a Penalty finalised their extensive Research Mapping Report which maps the extent of extraterritorial legislation against CSEA and improvements to be made to existing legislation amongst Commonwealth states. The research which informed parts of the report was produced in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Latham & Watkins.

In October 2018, It’s a Penalty finalised their extensive Research Mapping Report which maps the extent of extraterritorial legislation against CSEA and improvements to be made to existing legislation amongst Commonwealth states. The research which informed parts of the report was produced in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Latham & Watkins.

Findings of the Report

Overall, the report found that a relatively low number of Commonwealth Member States have enacted extraterritorial legislation to combat the sexual abuse and exploitation of children by offenders when travelling abroad. Predominantly, the few laws, which are in place, contain inconsistencies, and many difficulties have been encountered in their implementation. While some states have introduced extraterritorial legislation that is fully comprehensive, evidently there is still much room for improvement across the Commonwealth.

In Summary

  • Only 10 Commonwealth Member States have sufficiently comprehensive extraterritorial legislation against CSEA in place. Even when such legislation has been introduced by states, reported prosecution rates are low and information available to the public is limited.
  • 25 Commonwealth Members States lack extraterritorial legislation against CSEA in any form. Furthermore, many of these states’ domestic legislation against CSEA is insufficient. Therefore, children in these countries are legally unprotected from abuse and exploitation both at home and abroad.
  • 18 Commonwealth Member States have insufficient extraterritorial legislation in place, meaning that it needs improving or elements changed in order to be fully comprehensive. These improvements to be made include:
    • the removal of limiting conditions such as dual criminality or statutes of limitations;
    • the changing of ages of majority and ages of consent in line with the international standard (18);
    • the extension of criminalisation to include all forms of CSEA;
    • the extension of extraterritorial jurisdiction over anti-CSEA laws.
The Report’s findings demonstrate that many Commonwealth Member States lack sufficient legislation to fully protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse, both in the Commonwealth and beyond.
One of the key strategies of It’s a Penalty’s Advocacy Project is to CRIMINALISE ALL FORMS OF CSEA through the enactment of comprehensive legislation (including extraterritorial jurisdiction) against CSEA, in order to ensure that those who abuse or exploit children in the Commonwealth are reported, arrested and prosecuted.
The Report’s findings demonstrate that many Commonwealth Member States lack sufficient legislation to fully protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse, both in the Commonwealth and beyond. 
One of the key strategies of It’s a Penalty’s Advocacy Project is to CRIMINALISE ALL FORMS OF CSEA through the enactment of comprehensive legislation (including extraterritorial jurisdiction) against CSEA, in order to ensure that those who abuse or exploit children in the Commonwealth are reported, arrested and prosecuted. 
DOWNLOAD THE FULL RESEARCH MAPPING REPORT
DOWNLOAD THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
DOWNLOAD THE FULL RESEARCH MAPPING REPORT
DOWNLOAD THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY