Research

The Department promotes and encourages research into online child sexual exploitation in order to better understand how to reduce harm online. Below you can find research that the Digital Child Exploitation Team support or have contributed to.

If you are interested in working with the Department on any future research in this area, please contact the Digital Child Exploitation Team on censorship@dia.govt.nz.

Please note that many of the below research papers may refer to ‘child pornography’. The Department of Internal Affairs no longer uses term child pornography as it downplays child sexual abuse. The Department now use the term child sexual abuse imagery to refer to this harm.

On this page

Developing a typology of child sexual exploitation offenders (2019)

For this research, Elsemiek Griemink worked closely with the Digital Child Exploitation Team to investigate and classify individuals accessing child sexual abuse material. Four distinct subgroups were identified based on their level of engagement with the material, technical capability, type of child sexual abuse material offending, and the type of material they searched for.

The findings of this research have particular implications for the Digital Child Exploitation Team and similar organisations who are involved in the investigation of child sexual abuse material offending. This typology may be used as a guide for allocating resources and developing an understanding of the characteristics that are likely to be demonstrated by individuals identified by the Digital Child Exploitation Team.

Developing a typology of child sexual exploitation offenders (PDF, 612KB)

Predicting recidivism among adult male child pornography offenders: Development of the Child Pornography Offender Risk Tool (2015)

The researchers developed a risk tool to predict sexual recidivism among child sexual exploitation material offenders. The checklist has demonstrated moderate predictive accuracy and includes offenders age, any prior criminal history, any contact sexual offending, any failure on conditional release, an indication of sexual interest in child pornography material or prepubescent or pubescent children.

Predicting recidivism among adult male child pornography offenders (PDF, 357KB)

Undetected and detected child sexual abuse and child pornography offenders (2012)

These researchers compared self-referred undetected (by law enforcement) offenders against detected (by law enforcement) offenders on risk factors for sexual offending against children and social functioning. The offenders were evaluated on a series of characteristics including sexual pre-occupation, loneliness, offence-supportive attitudes etc.

Undetected and detected child sexual abuse and child pornography offenders (PDF, 597KB)

Offenders who use Child Sexual Exploitation Material: Development of an Integrated Model for their Classification, Assessment, and Treatment (2012)

This paper explored the differences between child sexual abuse material offenders and contact sex offenders providing a theoretical model of child sexual abuse offending which classifies child sexual abuse material offenders on three dimensions: offending with or without direct sexual contact to a minor, the individual’s motivation to offend and the level of networking with other offenders.

Offenders who use Child Sexual Exploitation Material

Internet Traders of Child Pornography and other Censorship Offenders in New Zealand (2004)

This research report by Angela Carr, first published in April 2004, profiles censorship offenders and examines characteristics of their offending:

Internet Traders of Child Pornography and other Censorship Offenders in New Zealand

Protecting Our Innocence: New Zealand's National Plan of Action Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (2002)

A report published by the Ministry of Justice in February 2002, provides a comprehensive examination of the four main activities that exploit children for their commercial value: child prostitution, child exploitation material, child sex tourism and child trafficking for sexual purposes.

It also details some of the laws, social policies, administrative measures and programmes that have been developed to respond to child abuse and exploitation in general.

Protecting Our Innocence: New Zealand's National Plan of Action Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Censored: A Short History of Censorship in New Zealand (1989)

This publication was produced by the Department of Internal Affairs' Research Unit and published in 1989. It documents censorship issues, policy and practice in New Zealand from the colonial period until the 1980s.

Censored: A Short History of Censorship in New Zealand