INHOPE celebrates in Dubrovnik 15 years of good work and looks at the future of child online protection
17 NOVEMBER 2014, GLOBAL
SummaryCoinciding with the 15th anniversary of its founding, INHOPE - The International Association of Internet Hotlines held its second annual members' meeting in the World Heritage city of Dubrovnik from 11-13 November. Hosted by the Croatian Center for Missing and Exploited Children (CNZD), the three-day conference was attended by delegations from 34 countries.
Coinciding with the 15th anniversary of its founding, INHOPE - The International Association of Internet Hotlines held its second annual members' meeting in the World Heritage City of Dubrovnik from 11-13 November. Hosted by the Croatian Center for Missing and Exploited Children (CNZD), the three-day conference was attended by delegations from 34 countries.
Upon opening the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Milanka Opačić said "there are too many cowards abusing children on the Internet", before going over Croatia's efforts in fighting online child sexual exploitation. With a regional focus on tackling child sex trafficking, delegates shared experiences, latest developments and best common practices. Partners and high-level speakers from the OSCE, Facebook, Insafe, the US Marshals, NCMEC or the German BKA all demonstrated that no one can work in isolation and cooperation is a must when it comes to child online protection.
Stronger partnerships with law enforcement and the high-tech industry drive faster and better results. INHOPE's President Amela Efendic said “INHOPE does not seek to do the job of law enforcement agencies. We are a partner to law enforcement in receiving, viewing, analysing, sorting and confirming child sexual abuse images, so they could focus on processing the images confirmed as child abuse.”
“Children of today are on a high level of information literacy, extensively using the Internet for various purposes. That is great, as long as we do our best to make the internet a safer and better place for all of them.”
With the upcoming 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), INHOPE's reporting hotlines, as first responders and advocates, are increasingly recognised as playing a central role in the online safety ecosystem.
"The situation with regards to the issue of online child abuse in the United States is somewhat different as to this region. This might be due to the fact that some countries address this issue from a rehabilitation angle, but – whatever the case is – the most important message is that there is Zero Tolerance towards child sexual abuse!" John Shehan, Executive Director, NCMEC's Exploited Children Division
"Unfortunately, the crime of online child abuse does not respect any borders. Croatia did have several major initiatives towards its suppression and we are still relatively well off in comparison to other countries of the region. However, even just one child being sexually abused is a large number." Tomislav Ramljak, President of CNZD
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