The sexual exploitation and abuse of children is a widespread and multi-faceted issue. No Commonwealth country is immune to CSEA.

In order to determine whether, and the extent to which, children are currently adequately protected against CSEA throughout the Commonwealth, this report analyses the criminalisation of CSEA, gaps in prosecution of CSEA offences, gaps in protection of children and efforts made towards prevention of CSEA across 21 Commonwealth Member States from four regions (Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific). Whilst positive steps have been taken to address the issue across the Commonwealth, the CommonProtect report highlights considerable gaps in child protection laws and systems throughout the Commonwealth.

We are incredibly grateful to all partners who have made CommonProtect and this research possible. Together, we can build a Commonwealth where all children are protected from sexual exploitation and abuse.

Please follow the links below to download the CommonProtect Report and the Executive Summary.


Report Launch & Expert Panel Recording

To launch the report on 11th May 2022, we hosted a virtual launch event and panel of experts.
The launch event featured welcomes from It’s a Penalty CEO Sarah de Carvalho MBE and TrustLaw Director Carolina Henriquez-Schmitz. A presentation of the key research findings followed, as well as a panel discussion on the next steps towards protecting children from CSEA throughout the Commonwealth, moderated by It’s a Penalty with contributors: Hasan Irfan Khan (Lawyer, Pakistan), Fabakary Jammeh (Lawyer, The Gambia), Musenge Leah Nkonde (Lawyer, Zambia) and Dr Letnie F. Rock (Retired Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Barbados), as well as Brian Speers (President, Commonwealth Lawyers Association) and Maria José Castello Branco (Vice Chair, Lanzarote Committee).

Special Address by the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, KC

We are honoured to also have had the Right Hon Patricia Scotland KC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth endorse the production of the CommonProtect report and partnership of It’s a Penalty and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association at the launch of the CommonProtect report. We are so proud to have the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat in working towards a future where all children are protected from sexual exploitation and abuse.