International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Australia Ltd


UCD Research Report into the CSE Ecosystem

January 29, 2023

Working to prevent online child sexual exploitation is a complex task, requiring the efforts of multiple cross-sector organisations fighting against sophisticated online criminal networks.

Our User Centred Design (UCD) Research, conducted in mid-2022 examined the whole ecosystem of those committed to countering this crime, in particular the challenges faced by the financial services industry in Australia.

The extensive research, conducted in partnership with Tobias, maps out the whole ecosystem working to detect and prosecute child sexual exploitation. It identifies significant challenges and barriers to preventing and disrupting financial transactions that facilitate the crime.

The research was also supported by our Design Studio Workshop, where 51 participants worked together to identify and discuss the issues they face in their work. The outcomes of this workshop, along with individual interviews conducted by Tobias Studio resulted in an invaluable resource to guide our organisation going forward.

The most prominent challenge for this space has been identified as a lack of data and information sharing between the key stakeholders within the ecosystem. This is one of seven systemic barriers that the research identified as hampering the efforts of those working to end this crime.

Whilst this research has informed our work and how we can best support those operating in the CSE ecosystem, until now this information has been available only to a select group of people working in financial crimes, regulators and law enforcement agencies dedicated to the detection of child sexual abuse.

For the first time, we have made available a public report that outlines the key findings of the research, and that summarises the seven systemic barriers to the detection of CSE. You can download the report here.

If you are a professional working to prevent online child sexual exploitation, and would like access to information and resources in this space, you can access the full report by registering for our Member Portal.

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