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WEBINAR: The silent pandemic - Child sexual abuse and exploitation during COVID [October 2020]

Updated: Apr 28, 2022


One of the unforeseen consequences has been the surge in the cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation. Experts are calling this a ‘silent pandemic’.

Lockdowns and the closure of schools has resulted in many children being stuck at home with abusive parents or caregivers, or spending much more time unsupervised online. School systems and other institutions such as medical facilities that often serve as a critical safety-net in identifying potential victims through signs of abuse, are unable to do so effectively during the pandemic.

The webinar bought together experts from governments and civil society to discuss the trends in child abuse during COVID-19, as well as share experiences and best practices on actions that can be taken to combat this critical issue.


● Ernie Allen [Chair, WePROTECT Global Alliance; Former President and CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children]

● Marie-Claude Arsenault [Chief Superintendent, Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Chair, Virtual Global Task Force]

● Michelle C. DeLaune [Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)]

● Patrick Krens [Executive Director, Child Helpline International]

● Saji Thomas [Chief, Child Protection, Gulf Area Office, UNICEF]


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