INHOPE supports global call to fight online child sexual abuse and exploitation

On Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 November 2015, a year on from UK Prime Minister David Cameron's undertaking to ensure all governments work hand in hand to combat online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) through the WePROTECT initiative, representatives from 51 governments, law enforcement, the non-profit sector and industry convened in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

All present were encouraged to use WePROTECT's ‘model national response' as a guide to together take action against online child sexual abuse and exploitation.
 
Developed by the UK's Home Office with input from civil society organisations and NGOs, including INHOPE, as well as law enforcement agencies (LEAs), industry, governments, social workers, child advocates and all others involved in the online protection of children, the national response model outlines practical critical wrap-around services and best practices needed as countries develop national capacity and capabilities to combat this crime.
 
For INHOPE and its 51 member hotlines around the world, the commitment of diverse nations to tackle online child sexual abuse material is applauded and welcomed, especially for those countries newly engaging in combatting online child sexual abuse and exploitation, and especially those in the region of the second summit, in the UAE and surrounding nations, that recognise the very real challenges.
 
Since 2013, INHOPE has become truly global as production and demand in this area of child sexual exploitation has continued to grow exponentially. Since 2010, INHOPE's charitable arm, the Foundation, has supported the establishment of hotlines around the world, especially in Latin America, Asia and Africa, to help ensure that there are reporting mechanisms in as many countries as possible. WePROTECT's model national response provides an excellent framework for this need, to reduce the availability of online child sexual abuse material by 1. swift removal; 2. assuring LEAs can investigate previously unseen material; and 3. reducing revictimisation.
 
Ernie Allen, leading the International Advisory Board, confirmed that the WePROTECT initiative and another global call to tackle online sexual abuse of children, the EU- and US-led 'Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online,' will move forward as one in order that all efforts to combat this crime are as united as possible.
 
INHOPE sits on WePROTECT's International Advisory Board and INHOPE's Secretariat has worked closely advising the UK Home Office's WePROTECT team as the initiative has got underway.
 
Countries, civil society organisations, international organisations and industries in attendance signed up to various statements of action to globally fight online child sexual exploitation, and develop a coordinated multi-stakeholder national response that will ensure:
  • The highest level of national response to online child sexual exploitation, including preventing wider child sexual exploitation and abuse;
  • Effective prevention programmes, investigations and prosecutions, safeguarding of victims and offender management;
  • Appropriate support services for children and young people;
  • Legislation or policies that will support technology companies' efforts to remove child sexual abuse material from the internet, including through the development of technological solutions;
  • Greater awareness and understanding among the public and professionals working with children.
Find out more about the 2015 WePROTECT summit, including full statements of action and the model national response for preventing and fighting child sexual exploitation and abuse, here.
 
Find out more about the work of INHOPE here.
 

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