On Tuesday 20 September 2022 at a high-level dialogue at the United Nations General Assembly 2022 Out of the Shadows Index (OOSI) was presented.
The Out of the Shadows Index (OOSI) is the first global assessment of how countries are addressing CSEA. The 2022 report benchmarks how 60 countries (home to approximately 85% of the global population of children) are preventing and responding to CSEA. Unlike any other research, the OOSI shines a spotlight on the CSEA “governance architecture” – the national systems in place to address the complex issue of CSEA in its two core dimensions: prevention and response.
The 2022 report reveals that many governments are failing to create the policies needed to prevent and respond to CSEA. Fewer than half of the countries indexed are considered to have a strategy to end CSEA.
The top five countries with the best CSEA protections for children this year include: the United Kingdom (UK), France, Sweden, Canada and South Africa. The Republic of Serbia was ranked #26.
Until recently there was little to no data on the prevalence of CSEA. Today, almost three-quarters of countries (73%) collect and publish data on the number of recorded and reported cases of CSEA.
CSEA is a global epidemic happening in every country around the world with widespread consequences not only for individuals but for societies at large. These terrible consequences hinder progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goals 3, 4, 5 and 16. As we grow closer to 2030, there is still a significant opportunity to redouble efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, but without urgency to CSEA issues from national governments, we run the risk of failing to meet these goals and leaving millions of children and young people vulnerable to the effects of CSEA.