New study: Comparison of European low-threshold reporting mechanisms

Are the (inter)national reporting mechanisms efficient to collect reports of child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism? What would be the improvements needed to ensure that the information provided by travelers can be used in investigations and lead to prosecutions? ECPAT is pleased to announce the publication of a new study which aim was to collect and compare information regarding the international reporting platform (dontlookaway.report) as well as the national reporting portals (Austria, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands).  

The national reporting platforms were analyzed through different criteria: number of reports per year, type of reports, countries where suspected exploitation of children took place, number of reports that led to police investigations/convictions, reporting format; handling of reports, terminology guidelines (http://luxembourgguidelines.org/english-version/) ; 

Based on the analysis of the reporting portals and interviews conducted with professionals, this comparative research sets up some international and national recommendations. 

  1. Create a specific app to be able to use geolocalisation and to pre-register (name and contact details), so people can do a report “on the spot”. 
  2. The terminology used should be updated in line with the Luxembourg Guidelines, 
  3. Improve the visibility of the portals by taking into account the Google Ad Words tool. 
  4. Social media campaigns should be launched in order to increase the visibility of the national portals, as it has been proven that the visibility is increased thanks to it. 
  5. A Memorandum of Understanding should be signed between the national police and the low-threshold level (at least with the ECPAT groups) 
  6. A system should be developed to unify categorization and classification of reports. 
  7. Improve staff training in handling reports to make reports more efficient and to better react to incoming reports. This would also improve data collection. 
  8. Add the option of uploading pictures for people who report a potential situation of child sexual exploitation. The more precise and detailed the report is, the better it is to investigate a case.