Survivor Leaders Leading through Research

Three leaders within the Philippine Survivor Network (PSN), *Ruby,*Liberty, and *Joy, contributed their expertise to a large-scale research project just published at the Nottingham Rights Laboratory. The project, Nowhere to Hide, is funded by the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery. *Ruby,*Liberty, and *Joy worked alongside researchers at the prestigious Rights Lab to produce several papers analyzing different payment methods used to buy and sell CSEM (child sexual exploitation material), and to show how tracking financial transactions can be used as a tool to build stronger investigations and better cases.

"In my opinion, Financial Transactions are one of the crucial aspects that need to be investigated in fighting against Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) and in protecting children. I believe demand-side offenders are using these platforms to victimize children as offenders, it creates the assumption that people who engage in OSEC are economically desperate.

Financial transactions can also be used as evidence in calculating the prevalence of OSEC and estimating the number of children being abused."

- * Liberty

"It is very important to hear our voices because our experience is real and wasn't easy. We’ve carried the trauma for many years. When we were rescued, it was difficult being away from our family. I never want any one of my family members to experience what we’ve go through."

- *Joy

"Survivor voice inclusion has always been vital. Aside from adding credibility to what ideas are being laid on the table, hearing directly from them brings impact to the audience in a different volume. I have seen this numerous times in my years of experience as a survivor leader and an advocate. We might have different kinds of traumas, but the common thing we have is that we experienced abuse! And I hunger to be heard, I hunger to speak for my fellow survivor. Nobody can speak for us, and nobody can tell our stories better than us. "

- *Ruby

The research includes:

  1. Case studies across Europe and the Philippines that prosecuted demand-side offenders of OSEC/CSAM: These country case studies examine and provide overview of various countries’ domestic legislation and policies relevant to online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC), and explore the investigation and prosecution of OSEC cases. Special attention is paid to how payments made for OSEC are detected, reported, and investigated by law enforcement agencies, other relevant domestic authorities, and the private sector.

    * The United Kingdom country case study
    * The Netherlands country case study
    * Norway country case study
    * The Philippines country case study
  2. Primer/Literature Review on OSEC with a focus on the Europe/Philippines Corridor: This review provides a literature review about the distinct nature of OSEC; victims of OSEC; common themes about OSEC in the literature; facilitation of OSEC; and financial dimensions of OSEC.
  3. Payment methods and investigation of financial transactions in online sexual exploitation of children cases: This research focuses on the strategies for use of financial transactions in OSEC investigations, highlighting financial motivation, payment methods, role of financial sector, and some recommendations.
  1. Legal and Policy Frameworks Relevant to OSEC: This report focuses on the legal and policy instruments relevant to OSEC at the international level.

Join *Ruby,*Liberty, and *Joy , as they present alongside their research team for a public webinar on October 23, 2023 (8AM EST / 8PM PHT). Registration details can be found at Nowhere to Hide: Turning Illicit Financial Flows Against Human Trafficking.