Report it, don't ignore it. Together we can end child sexual abuse imagery online

  • Hotlines
  • 07/02/2017
  • UK Safer Internet Centre

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) provides the hotline strand of the UK Safer Internet Centre, working to eradicate child sexual abuse imagery online. Here we hear about its campaign to "Do the right thing and report it" as part of a whole host of awareness-raising actions taking place on Safer Internet Day.

Online child sexual abuse material is a global problem that needs a global solution. Our work focuses on finding this content online and removing it to protect victims from being repeatedly abused. You can make a report to us through, or from one of our 16 portals around the world. All reports can be made anonymously to us, but if you want to leave your details, you can then find out what happened with your report. Stumbling across child sexual abuse imagery online could happen to anyone. By doing the right thing and reporting it, we can prevent children from being repeatedly revictimised by having their images shared time and time again. 

How do we do it?
As well as taking your reports, our expert analysts also actively search for child sexual abuse imagery online. A real person assesses all the content we find and as we work to such high standards, we're trusted by the police and all our global Members from the internet industry.

If we find criminal images or videos hosted in the UK (which happens in less than 1 per cent of the cases), we issue a takedown notice to the hosting company which removes them in a matter of hours. Because we also work closely with the police, no intelligence, or opportunity to investigate, is lost. If the images and videos are hosted somewhere else in the world, we pass the details to the relevant hotline or police agency and we work directly with Member companies whose services are being abused. 

International working
Cooperation is crucial to eliminate child sexual abuse images and videos online, so we work in partnership with the internet industry worldwide, police, governments and charities. We are also a founding member of INHOPE, the International Association of Internet Hotlines, which brings together 51 Hotlines, in 45 different countries. In addition, we also set up customised IWF Portals. The IWF Portal provides people from other countries with a safe and anonymous way to report child sexual abuse images and videos direct to our analysts in the UK. We have set up IWF Portals in 16 countries including India, Uganda, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. As well as having a portal, we also bring together police, governments, child protection organisations and other key people in these countries to raise awareness of reporting child sexual abuse images

Do the right thing and report it to

Find out more about the work of the UK Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

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