Press Release

9th Edition Global Review Reveals Increase in Laws that Protect Children

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 6, 2018 — The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) published its 9th edition Child Sexual Abuse Material: Model Legislation & Global Review, revealing significant global efforts to combat child sexual abuse material online. Since the 8th edition in 2016, 114 improvements have been made to child protection legislation around the world, meaning that a total of 150 countries have introduced or improved legislation since the report’s inception more than 10 years ago.

“The research speaks for itself and awareness is on the rise,” said Ambassador Maura Harty (ret.), President & CEO of ICMEC. “When we started this longitudinal study in 2006, 95 countries had no legislation addressing child sexual abuse material and now that number is down to 16. The world is clearly paying attention.”

ICMEC’s report assesses 196 countries’ performance against key criteria recommended in its legislation outline, a menu of concepts that encourages a clear definition of child sexual abuse material, laws written to specifically address child sexual exploitation online, and mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse material on the Internet.

Each edition of the report has tracked progress and awareness around the globe, addressed emerging trends in child sexual exploitation online, and provided recommendations for statutory tools to implement change. In November, the Child Dignity Alliance Technology Working Group recommended that governments immediately commence work to ensure compliance with ICMEC’s proposed model legislation.

Many countries are still working toward legislation sufficient to combat child sexual abuse material offenses, which means there is more work to be done. ICMEC will continue its regular review as well as its periodic compliance report in keeping with its ongoing efforts to make the world a safer place for children. “With a global focus on legislation that specifically protects children we can truly establish a world worthy of its children,” stated Ambassador Harty.

ICMEC has dedicated 20 years to innovating programs that aim to end child sexual abuse and exploitation, and the incidence of children going missing for any reason. ICMEC employs smart collaboration and innovative technology to effect change in making the world safer for children. We welcome your partnership and invite you to learn more about these initiatives at

Laura Jennings
International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
(703) 872-7467