A resource for a safer internet: The FOSI grid



Today is Safer Internet Day!

“Safer Internet Day aims to create both a safer and a better internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.”

At Dressember, we are using this day as a way to raise awareness about online exploitation online. Tomorrow we are sharing a resource that will help protect you and your children.

Internet safety for children has long been an issue with both parents and legislators. The rise of connectivity and Internet access has increased problems like cyber-bullying and the online sexual exploitation of children. Law enforcement officers, parents, and lawmakers have worked to educate the public, protect children, and prosecute offenders in order to make the Internet a safer place.

With this in mind, in 2010 the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) created GRID, or the Global Resource and Information Directory. Its aim is to create, “a single, factual data source for a wide array of stakeholders dedicated to making the Internet a safer and better place.”

In this video, we learn that reports of child sexual abuse material has increased by 400% in the UK. GRID was created as part of the UNICEF “Global Program to build capacity to tackle online child sexual exploitation”, supported by the Government of the United Kingdom. After being completely revised in 2016, including the addition of country-specific pages, users are able to see legislation and information about what their state and country is doing in the fight to end child exploitation on the internet.


GRID allows users to look at education, organizations, research, and legislation in each continent, country, and state in the United States. Users can also look at what a country is doing about Online Child Sexual Exploitation. Each section listed under the region is further broken down by year and notable facts, such as an event that happened that spurred legislation passed to protect Internet usage and child safety.

The Global Program is being implemented by UNICEF and partners within governments, civil society and industry, in 17 countries across six regions, and with activities at global levels.


“The Global Program in the first phase is expected to contribute to these outcome areas:

  • Child victims of online sexual exploitation are identified and rescued.

  • Child victims of online exploitation and abuse receive quality support services in accordance with international standards and practices.

  • Cases of child online sexual exploitation are investigated and prosecuted.

  • Child sexual abuse material on the Internet is reported and removed.

  • Children, families, teachers and other caregivers take protective measure to mitigate risks and prevent online sexual exploitation and abuse.

  • Evidence on trends, drivers and effective interventions on online child sexual exploitation is strengthened.

These outcomes will be further supported by a range of indicators, outputs, and illustrative activities as progress is made toward the ultimate goal that children are effectively protected from online sexual exploitation and abuse, perpetrators are apprehended and prosecuted, and children enjoy the benefits of the Internet free from danger.”

It is obviously not easy gathering information like this from every country and/or state, so GRID accumulates information from a wide range of trusted sources, combined with expert oversight. “As a trusted fixture in the online safety space for the past decade, FOSI has been able to utilize its convening power and connections with leaders in the field to create a network of experts in every region of the globe.” GRID is highly collaborative and asks users who are “experts and friends in the field” to submit any new research, reports, or initiatives that may be useful information.

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About the Author

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Austyn McAnarney is a wife and mom living in Springfield, Missouri. She studied literature and creative writing at Missouri State University. In her free time, Austyn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and their dog, Axle.