INHOPE on the BBC News Channel about the Terre des Hommes #Sweetie 10 initiative [Interview transcript/ press statement]
06 NOVEMBER 2013
SummaryThe initiative raises awareness on the issue of child sexual exploitation, online and offline. It shows the links existing between ‘child sex tourism’ and the production of child sexual abuse material. It confirms that live-streaming is a new and disturbing criminal money-making trend, a new lucrative platform for organised crime. However, at INHOPE, we believe in cooperation and knowledge sharing. And this is too serious of a crime, in fact one of the worst violations of human rights on the most vulnerable of our citizens, our children, to forget that. Partnership with law enforcement is of critical importance, if we do not want perpetrators escaping justice and harming again.
The NGO Terre des Hommes initiative named #Sweetie10 (after a computer-generated 10-year old girl from the Philippines) was the talk of the day on social media, with a lot of press coverage as well.
INHOPE was interviewed about it live on the BBC News Channel. Here is a transcript of what INHOPE spokesperson Sarah Jane Mellor said:
"This type of initiative raises awareness on the issue of child sexual exploitation, online and offline. It shows the links existing between ‘child sex tourism’ and the production of child sexual abuse material. It confirms that live-streaming is a new and disturbing criminal money-making trend, a new lucrative platform for organised crime, as it was recently highlighted in a report published by Europol and the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (with data from INHOPE).
However, at INHOPE, we believe in cooperation and knowledge sharing. And this is too serious of a crime, in fact one of the worst violations of human rights on the most vulnerable of our citizens, our children, to forget that. Partnership with law enforcement is of critical importance, if we do not want perpetrators escaping justice and harming again. Not involving law enforcement can in fact be counterproductive. Perpetrators might not be prosecuted, as there will probably not be enough evidential trail that will stand up in court. By saying ‘the files will be handed to law enforcement’ also gives offenders enough margin of manoeuvre to cover their tracks. Entrapment and enticement are serious issues best left to law enforcement professionals. Tactics should not be publicly discussed, as they might jeopardise ongoing investigations.
We, INHOPE and its member hotlines, stop, with our industry partners, the (re)circulation of child sexual abuse material on the Internet while providing actionable intelligence to law enforcement which may lead to the arrest of offenders and the identification of victims. We say to the members of the general public, if you stumble across anything you suspect is illegal, help us make a difference, report it, don’t ignore it. "
Click here to see what Troels Oerting, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)/ Europol, said to CNN on the matter.
As for INTERPOL, please refer to their press release below:
‘’INTERPOL is aware that on Monday 4 November a Non Governmental Organization unveiled a report into research that they had carried out in relation to Remote Commercial Child Sexual Exploitation (RCCSE) and that this information has now been provided to the Dutch authorities.
No information about the research or the report was provided to INTERPOL prior to its publication. The Dutch authorities will provide the material to INTERPOL after conducting their own assessment.
As no detail has yet been provided to INTERPOL it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.
The issue of RCCSE is one which INTERPOL, as the world’s largest police organization is aware of and is working with specialist officers in its member countries to address as part of ongoing efforts to address all forms of child sexual exploitation.
Whilst INTERPOL recognizes the important role of NGOs in child protection, it is important that any criminal investigations should only be undertaken by law enforcement professionals. This ensures that enquiries are conducted by individuals specifically trained in investigating these types of crime and that any evidence gathered is in accordance with national legislation and can therefore be submitted to the courts.’’
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 www.inhope.org and download our 2013/14 Annual Report