In order to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse, and ensure that offenders are punished accordingly, legal reform, widespread collaboration and comprehensive action is required. It’s a Penalty has launched our Advocacy work as part of our commitment to building a world in which no child is vulnerable to exploitation or abuse.
Our strategies to strengthen the prevention of CSEA in the Commonwealth are focused on 3 key actions:
Criminalise all forms of CSEA
In order to prevent the exploitation and abuse of children worldwide, it is crucial to deter potential offenders. An effective deterrent is the possibility of prosecution. Having comprehensive legal frameworks in place in target countries which sufficiently criminalise CSEA, including extraterritorial jurisdiction, ensures that offenders can be prosecuted for all forms of CSEA, no matter where they are from or where in the world the offence takes place.
Bring CSEA offenders to justice
In order to achieve justice for victims of CSEA, it is key that offenders are not able to act with impunity. Improving efforts made in target Commonwealth countries to enforce anti-CSEA laws and prosecute offenders, and addressing practical and societal obstacles so that victims and others are more able to report CSEA offences, ensures that fewer offenders will be able to escape justice and fewer offences go unreported.
Strengthen child protection
In order to improve the protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse, it is essential that children and their communities are more aware and able to prevent CSEA from taking place, as well as support those who have been abused or exploited.