Online Child Sexual Exploitation on the Rise?

Apr 16, 2014, 10:17 ET from INHOPE

AMSTERDAM, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

- Internet hotlines, industry and law enforcement doing more than ever to fight it

Today, INHOPE - The International Association of Internet Hotlines published its new data set for the year 2013 showcasing key trends and emerging threats in the distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). Online child sexual exploitation is likely to rise in the coming years, with ever-increasing Internet adoption rates globally and higher levels of demand for new abuse material. To prevent and protect, the unique partnerships between Internet hotlines, industry and law enforcement are delivering more now than ever, as shown in the INHOPE statistics for 2013. Digital citizens need to know where to report illegal content and criminal conduct. This is precisely why the INHOPE network continues to expand.

"INHOPE and its member hotlines in 2013 have seen a sharp 14% increase in the number of illegal content complaints our analysts handle globally, with a dramatic increase, 47%, in the number of confirmed Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) reports", said Russell Chadwick, Executive Director of INHOPE. 

"This material is removed quickly and effectively through close collaboration with industry and law enforcement to prevent further revictimisation while we provide actionable leads to law enforcement. Wherever the safety of children is concerned, it is critical we take action as a community".

As high-speed Internet continues to proliferate around the world and more users are coming online, regrettably there is a significant number of individuals who have an unhealthy sexual interest in children. While industry continues to invest more time and efforts into identifying and removing CSAM, we are likely to see an increase in incidents. 

With the help of the European Commission Safer Internet Programme, INHOPE is staying ahead of the tech curve and will be able to continue its unique work and do a lot more in the coming years with law enforcement and industry, with digital fingerprints of CSAM images and videos.

In 2013: 

  • The INHOPE network was constituted of 49 Internet hotlines and present in 43 countries.
  • 170 analysts processed 1,210,893 reports of illegal content.
  • 54,969 reports were assessed to contain unique URLs of child sexual abuse material.
  • 81% child victims were female. 
  • 10% child victims were infants.
  • In Europe, 97% was reported to law enforcement within a day.  93% was removed from the Internet within a week. On average, it takes approximately three days for the content to be removed.