Save the Children Finland (Pelastakaa Lapset), a non-profit organisation that specialises in foster care, adoption and child protection services, has revealed that they received 2,750 tips related to online sexual exploitation of children last year.
The organisation provides a service on their website which allows anyone to report illegal activities pertaining to sexual solicitation or abuse of minors. This information is then handed over to the authorities.
Children or young adults who are victims of online sexual assaults or grooming can report crimes themselves. Additionally, the service provides support in case of nude pictures of minors being circulated online and suspected human trafficking.
The online service received more reports than usual this Spring, but experts fear that many instances of exploitation will fall under the radar as minors are often unable to identify the markers of sexual grooming.
In April, Save the Children expressed concern that children may be at higher risk of being targeted by sex offenders online given the current exceptional circumstances.