New Policy Report Card Unveils How 60 Countries Respond to Child Sexual Abuse

The UK, France and Sweden top the index analysing child abuse prevention and response policies.

Research to be presented on Tuesday 20 September 2022 at high-level dialogue at the United Nations General Assembly. Press can request access.

NEW YORK – September 19, 2022 - Today, Ignite Philanthropy and Economist Impact released the 2022 Out of the Shadows Index (OOSI) and accompanying report, which provide a robust analysis of national efforts to address child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA). While this second edition of the index uncovers which countries rank highest in effectiveness and preparedness in their existing CSEA strategies, the analysis also presents the need for heightened government accountability, legislative reform and child-centric policies in every country.

According to the OOSI—a landmark global assessment of how countries are preventing and responding to CSEA first conceived in 2019—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 United States was ranked #13.

The OOSI examines both prevention and response strategies, serving as a report card and accountability mechanism to lift up success stories and identify gaps in existing systems:

  • 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.

  • Despite the progress that has been made, the proportion of children experiencing CSEA each year globally may have grown even larger as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Fewer than half of the countries in OOSI are considered to have a strategy to end CSEA. Additionally, since 2019, when the first iteration of the index and report was released, there has been a 36% decrease in the number of countries that have a national strategy or action plan that specifically addressed child sexual exploitation and/or abuse.

  • Social media has opened a new front in the battle against CSEA. Across the globe, policymakers lag behind in crafting legislation to address online CSEA and just over one-third of countries have legislation specific to online grooming.

Don Cipriani, Director of Ignite Philanthropy, emphasizes that “The prevalence and insidious nature of child sexual abuse and exploitation are alarming and require concerted effort and attention. Many of the existing policies and responses continue to fall short and allow CSEA cases to remain hidden. However, with this report, we’re aiming to bring greater attention to CSEA and hold policymakers accountable to create a safer world for every child, everywhere.”

View and download the Out of the Shadows Index and Report. 

Press interested in attending tomorrow afternoon’s High-level Dialogue and Launch event at the United Nations General Assembly in New York should inquire about open seats by emailing


About Ignite Philanthropy

Ignite Philanthropy is a donor collaborative fund that takes advantage of philanthropy’s unique role, flexibility, and ability to act quickly to empower partners, allies and grassroots voices to bring an end to violence against children and young people.

About Economist Impact

Economist Impact partners with corporations, foundations, NGOs and governments across themes including sustainability, health and the changing shape of globalisation to catalyse change and enable progress. For 75 years, Economist Impact has shed light on policy choices through benchmarks, economic and social impact analysis, white papers, forecasting and scenario modelling.