INHOPE and its reporting hotlines: a force multiplier in combatting online child sexual abuse

Global NGO Advisory Board meets and plans for the future

INHOPE’s Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting on the 17th September 2014 at EUROPOL’s headquarters in The Hague, in The Netherlands. Discussions focused on strategy, technology, performance, emerging trends and special issues.

INHOPE’s Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting on the 17th September 2014 at EUROPOL’s headquarters in The Hague, in The Netherlands. Discussions focused on strategy, technology, performance, emerging trends and special issues.

INHOPE’s Executive Director Russell Chadwick said: "I am delighted we have established an Advisory Board, this is the single most important step forward INHOPE has undertaken in recent years. The new Board will strengthen our Governance and also bring with it the ability to work closely with industry, Law enforcement and the NGO communities in a much more meaningful manner to enhance our work internationally."

Paul Gillen, Head of Operations, European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) said: ‘’Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) is pleased to be part of the INHOPE Advisory Board, to further strengthen our efforts in combatting online crime against children. By working together with our law enforcement partners, NGOs and private industry, we are committed to keeping children safe and protecting them from predators in the online world.’’

The nine members who compose the new INHOPE Advisory Board represent high-tech giants, law enforcement agencies and leading civil society organisations which all share a zero tolerance towards Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). The nine experts are all actively engaged in the child online protection community and are renowned for a wide array of initiatives to promote a better and safer Internet for children.

Jacqueline Beauchere,Chief Online Safety Officer, Microsoft‘’Microsoft has supported INHOPE for many years. The group’s valuable work is important to us as we, too, engage in the daily fight to remove and minimize illegal and inappropriate content on our services and on the public Internet. Working with Dartmouth College, we developed in 2009 our PhotoDNA technology, which is now used by us and several in industry to find, remove and report known, “worst of the worst” online images of child sexual abuse. Also in 2009, Microsoft donated that technology to the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)&mdasha founding INHOPE member&mdashand PhotoDNA has since become the industry standard for combating child pornography online.’’

John Carr, one of the world’s leading child rights’ advocate, Senior Expert Adviser, ECPAT International, said: “Hotlines have a pivotal role to play in the global fight against online child abuse images and in that context INHOPE has an important leadership function in driving forward the worldwide effort.”

Michael Moran,Assistant Director, Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Sub-Directorate, INTERPOL,

added: ‘’The web of today is a very different place than it was in the 1990s. This truism is especially relevant when we discuss the absence of websites making child abuse material available especially in return for payment. A combination of factors have played a role in this including industry action, robust law enforcement and the INHOPE hotline network. Working together we have made a very clear difference and we continue to do so. INTERPOL and INHOPE have always worked closely together and so sitting on the advisory board is a natural progression of that ever evolving and valuable relationship. We have so much to teach and so much to learn it makes sense for us to do it together. ‘’

The INHOPE Advisory Board, together with the INHOPE Board and Secretariat, will help lay out a blueprint for the future development of the organisation to be devised with and ratified by the INHOPE membership. The unique data that INHOPE extracts from its unique database informs policy discussions at regional and international level and helps identify trends, patterns and hotspots, by visualising at a glance where further coordinated action is needed to yield the best results.

Sabine Frank, Policy Counsel, Google, highlighted "We have long term and close relationships with national hotlines like NCMEC, IWF, the FSM and others. Hotlines play a central role in the international fight against child abuse images.And INHOPE plays a very important role to coordinate the hotlines across the world, setting common high standards and facilitating the exchange of experiences.’’

In this fast-moving world, INHOPE, and its 51 member hotlines in 45 countries worldwide, remain reference players when it comes to disrupting and reducing the availability of CSAM on the Internet, and will continue to gather information and generate intelligence to combat the most serious form of online crime, a clear violation of human rights on the most vulnerable of our citizens, our children.

Lynette Owens, founder and global director of Trend Micro’s Internet Safety for Kids and Families program said: “Trend Micro is proud and honored to be part of the INHOPE Advisory Board and collaborate with a global group to solve issues in online crime against children. We look forward to furthering the dialogue about prevention, education and protection with a group of experts and institutions who share our mission.”

Lars Lööf, psychologist and an authority on risk prevention and trauma, "Girls and boys that are victims of sexual abuse have a right to know that the adult world does everything in its power to stop any form of distribution of child sex abuse images. This is what INHOPE stands for".


INHOPE is an active, collaborative and influential network of 51 hotlines in 45 countries worldwide, committed to stamping out child sexual abuse from the Internet.

INHOPE was founded in 1999 under the European Commission Safer Internet Programme.

INHOPE Hotlines offer the public a way of anonymously reporting Internet material including child sexual abuse material they suspect to be illegal.

INHOPE members operate a public hotline to receive complaints about apparent illegal content, they then assess the content in accordance with their national laws and if they consider it to be illegal they trace the material to a hosting country. If the content is illegal in the hosting country then the national Hotline takes steps to have the material ‘taken down’ in consultation with their law enforcement partners.

In the first half of 2014:

170 analysts across the INHOPE network processed 587,674 reports of illegal content.

39,144 reports were assessed to contain unique URLs of child sexual abuse material, a 32% increase compared with the last six months of 2013.

81% child victims were female. 6% child victims were infants.

In Europe, 98% was reported to law enforcement within a day. 91% was removed from the Internet within three days.

Want to know more about the work of INHOPE? 

Visit our website and download our 2013/14 Annual Report