What is Common Protect?

CommonProtect is It’s a Penalty’s advocacy programme focused on legal reform in order to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) throughout the Commonwealth.

Working in collaboration with governments, civil society organisations, child rights champions and Commonwealth institutions, CommonProtect is the Commonwealth-wide movement to end impunity for CSEA, improve access to justice for survivors and ensure better child protection.

Our ultimate goal is for there to be a comprehensive legal framework in place in each Commonwealth country which criminalises CSEA in every form, no matter where the offender is from or where in the world the offence takes place.

Our Strategy

The sexual exploitation and abuse of children, including online, is reaching epidemic levels. It takes place in every community, city and country around the world. Current gaps in laws mean that millions of children throughout the Commonwealth are legally unprotected from abuse by nationals and travelling offenders.

To achieve change, our strategy has three main aims:

Strengthen civil society voices

Developing the evidence base, working with and strengthening civil society’s legal knowledge and capacity, and encouraging collective action to challenge CSEA and improve child protection.

Deliver high level advocacy

Driving political will around legal reform and child protection, engaging decision makers and fostering greater understanding of key issues and pan-Commonwealth approaches to reform.

Develop support for legal reform

Facilitating learning and sharing to support advocacy and policy reform measures, enabling governments to develop their child protection legal frameworks, take action and end impunity for CSEA.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022, leaders declared 2023 as a year dedicated to youth-led action for sustainable and inclusive development. This year, young changemakers, civil society and governments are working together towards a renewed vision for the Commonwealth.

Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse is a priority issue for youth throughout the Commonwealth, and one that there must be more coordinated action towards.