IWF begins 20th year with safeguarding event in Northern Ireland

Published:  Thu 21 Jan 2016

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and NSPCC Northern Ireland have come together to combat online child sexual abuse at an event at Stormont on 21 January, hosted by Sandra Overend MLA. The event, ‘Keeping Children Safe in the Online World’ is the first in a series of planned conferences in 2016 which mark the IWF's 20th Anniversary Year.

In recent years, online images of child sexual abuse have featured heavily in news headlines, and as a problem that isn’t going away, the IWF’s role is to work to ensure known child sexual abuse material is removed from the internet. The NSPCC’s ChildLine service works together with IWF to enable young people to report sexual images that are on the internet and have them removed. In 2014, the IWF removed 31,266 URLs featuring child sexual abuse material, a significant 137 per cent increase on the previous year. In 2015 that figure was equalled on July 20 at 11.05am. The IWF also identified an important trend in child sexual abuse material being shared by younger children who have been coerced to perform sexual acts in front of a camera or webcam as well as self-generated sexually explicit images of young people.

The IWF works with internet service providers, Government, the public and voluntary organisations like the NSPCC to identify and remove child sexual abuse material online. This event will see the IWF and NSPCC Northern Ireland bringing together key individuals and organisations to raise awareness of the ongoing fight against online child sexual abuse material and of the IWF as an organisation with a unique role to contribute to the development of the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland’s e-safety strategy.

Susie Hargreaves, CEO of the IWF, said: “This event is the first of many events, announcements and campaigns that we have planned to mark our 20th Anniversary Year. We’ll be looking back at key milestones in the growth and development of the IWF, but more importantly we’re focusing on looking forward. Today, we’re removing child sexual abuse material online more successfully than ever, but there’s a lot more work to be done.”

Neil Anderson, NSPCC Northern Ireland Head of Service said: “Our partnership with the IWF and other partners in the statutory and law enforcement sector is crucial for better protection of children online. The IWF has a unique role to play here in Northern Ireland and their interest and expertise is invaluable.”

Boost for children’s online safety as Welsh Government becomes first Government to join IWF

Boost for children’s online safety as Welsh Government becomes first Government to join IWF

Welsh language resources will help children spot the signs of online grooming and abuse.

19 November 2021 News
Analysts find 15 times as much child sexual abuse material on web as a decade ago

Analysts find 15 times as much child sexual abuse material on web as a decade ago

Internet Watch Foundation in Sky News | IWF in the News

13 November 2021 News
IWF analysts finding fifteen times more child sexual abuse content online than they were ten years ago

IWF analysts finding fifteen times more child sexual abuse content online than they were ten years ago

Expert analysts have taken action against 200,000 websites containing child sexual abuse material this year – a record amount for the charity.

12 November 2021 News