Praxis Mutual Funds® joined other shareholders in a letter to AT&T, a leading communications and telecom services company, asking for details on how it is combating online child sexual exploitation.
The investors sought information on performance and response to combating various types of prevalent child sex abuse, from offenders grooming children for abuse, to sexual extortion, to the buying and storing of child sex imagery. The investors specifically wanted to know how AT&T and its subsidiaries are working internally, and with governments, law enforcement, and civil society groups, to confront such exploitation.
AT&T responded to the letter, describing a number actions it is taking, such as making investments with in anti-trafficking groups at the local level. Although the response was helpful, Praxis and the other shareholders felt that more information could have been provided and plan to pursue further conversation with the company.
Praxis is also planning to engage other telecom companies on this topic. Curbing the sexual exploitation of children is an issue with strong bipartisan support, both among customers and politicians. For telecom companies, sexual exploitation of minors might intersect with many of their platforms, products and services, and pose substantial financial and reputational risk.