Background Online sexual violence, exploitation and abuse of children are some of the worst forms of harm inflicted to children. Under the Convention of the Rights of Child and other international treaties (Lanzarote and Budapest Convention) all children have the right to be protected from harm. The directive (2011/93/EU) of EU Parliament and Commission clearly states that all EU countries have to prevent child sexual abuse, strengthen and promote national hotlines and make sure that online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is removed quickly both within and outside EU.
Methods Save the Children Finland maintains Finnish Hotline (Nettivihje), which offers the public a way to anonymously report CSAM they suspect to be illegal. Nettivihje is also a member of International Association of Internet Hotlines network INHOPE which is an active and collaborative network of 51 hotlines in 45 countries worldwide. Nettivihje has been in operation since 2002 and in the beginning of the year 2015 it received the largest number ever reports per six month (2138). More than 30% of these reports were assessed as indecent sexual images of children or illegal CSAM.
Results Nettivihje took part in the pilot phrase of the EU Commission’s “BIK NET project 2014” and is still actively involved in the development and implementation of the software solution IC-CAM (I see child sexual material). This solution has enhanced the global fight against CSA online and speeded up the notice-and- takedown times without jeopardising criminal investigations. The solution has streamlined the work, enabling process more CSAM reports to LEA and Interpol. This collaboration gives them more possibilities to identify and rescue child victims.
Conclusions International co-operation promotes the child rights, protect abused children from further victimisation and ensures focus on child protection online. One single report to Nettivihje makes a word of difference.
- child sexual abuse material online
- technology solution
- child protection
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