The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report, What works to prevent online violence against children (VAC), which presented ways to keep children safe online. The report is based on a comprehensive review of many strategies, programs, and current practices aimed at preventing children from becoming victims of sexual abuse online and offline as well as how to support children who have already been victimised.

“Our children spend more and more time online; as such, it is our duty to make the online environment safe,” states Etienne Krug, Director of the WHO Department of Social Determinants of Health. “This new document provides for the first time a clear direction for action by governments, donors and other development partners, showing that we must address online and offline violence together if we are to be effective.”

The report focuses on two forms of online violence in particular: child sexual abuse, including grooming and sexual image abuse, and cyber aggression and harassment in the form of cyberbullying, cyberstalking, hacking and identity theft.

AMBER Alert Europe strongly supports evidence-based approaches that aim to improve the protection of children against any kind of violence. As online sexual abuse and online aggression against children are among the root causes for children going missing, we welcome the ‘What works to prevent online violence against children’ report.

With the aim of increasing the impact of our activities in this area, AMBER Alert Europe’s future projects will be designed considering the report’s findings.