About this project
Several regional and thematic consultations organised by ECPAT with various actors have repeatedly identified the need to review the status of national legal frameworks protecting children from sexual exploitation through information and communication technologies including the internet and to assess their alignment with relevant international and regional legal instruments.
Clear legal provisions criminalising the sexual exploitation of children online represent only one component of the national legal landscape. Procedural law attributing and regulating the investigative powers of law enforcement units and prosecutors also plays a fundamental part in addressing this criminal phenomenon. Thus both substantive and procedural legislation needs to be taken into account when assessing the effectiveness of a national legal framework.
ECPAT International, with support from UNICEF, has conducted legal research covering both procedural and substantive laws in 29 countries around the world. The analysis, made publicly available through this legal database, has the following objectives: (i) to provide an updated baseline on the criminal legislation in force in the researched countries, (ii) to monitor the level of compliance with international and regional legal standards, (iii) to identify potential gaps in the legislation and (iv) to support evidence-based advocacy by suggesting ad hoc recommendations for each country.
This database will be updated on a regular basis to include any amendments or new laws on this topic adopted in the countries under analysis. It will also be expanded to incorporate the legal frameworks of additional countries with the aim of reaching global coverage of existing legislation protecting children from online sexual exploitation.