Save the Children Finland's hotline service received over 2,000 reports of
child sexual abuse images in 2010

01.04.2011 - In 2010, Save the Children Finland received 2,324 reports via an internet hotline (in Finnish "Nettivihje") created by its Safer Internet programme, where Internet users can report illegal material they find on the Internet.

The most alarming factor in the cases reviewed by the Finnish hotline is the increasing number of sexually abused young children below school age.

Most of the material that is available online is made using web cameras: the child can be asked to take off his or her shirt, and the viewer might ask to view more. Then the picture or video is taken and shared on the Internet.

Approximately 30% of the web pages that were indicated via these forms, contained illegal material illustrating child sexual abuse. And 7% of these websites contained material where children were portrayed in sexually suggestive poses. Almost all of the illegal web pages were hosted abroad, outside from Finland, and they distributed images or videos of children victims of sexual abuse.

The hotline service of Save the Children Finland report all the web pages containing images depicting sexual crimes against children to the INHOPE (the Internet Association of Internet Hotlines) member Hotline of the country where the website is hosted. The Finnish hotline also reports all websites that include illegal content to the National Bureau of Investigation in Finland.

The hotline service makes it possible to report in an anonymous way, via an online form, websites containing child abuse images or videos, and other illegal material.

INHOPE coordinates the Hotline-network around the world and it aims to trace and take down illegal content. The network of INHOPE has currently 39 member hotlines in 34 countries worldwide that are working together to fight child sexual abuse images on the Internet.

The goal is to remove illegal material as quickly as possible according to the legislation of the country, by passing the information gathered to the country's authorities.

This is of fundamental importance, given that as long as the images are available on the Internet, they can be used for sexual purposes, distributed again, copied and saved. The illegal material available online seriously violates the right for privacy, honour, and dignity of the child abuse victims.

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