Child ‘self-generated’ sexual material is a growing issue for children’s safety on the internet. It is when children and young people take images and videos using smartphones or webcams, and then share them on online platforms. While it may be a form of expression for some children, it comes with a lot of risks of online abuse and exploitation.
In 2022, the Internet Watch Foundation found 199,363 pages containing child ‘self-generated’ sexual material – a nine per cent increase from 2021.
WeProtect Global Alliance and Praesidio Safeguarding spoke to children and young people on the issue of ‘self-generated’ sexual material in three countries – Ghana, Thailand and Ireland. They used small focus groups with children aged 13-17 and asked them to share their thoughts about how and why children created these materials, and their solutions to risks of abuse.
The briefing paper draws out a number of recommendations to address this issue, including increased education, legal reform and strengthened systems by governments and more safety solutions adopted by technology companies.