IWF declares a record year for online child sexual abuse reports at Annual Report 2023 launch

Published:  Thu 25 Apr 2024

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) revealed a concerning increase in the amount of online child sexual abuse material at its annual report launch held in London on Tuesday (April 23, 2024). 

At the event, IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves OBE said that 2023 had been an “incredibly fast-paced year” in which IWF analysts had found more child sexual imagery than any year previously – more than 275,000 URLs (webpages) had been actioned by the IWF Hotline. 

Ms Hargreaves’ presentation also described how sexually coerced extortion, or sextortion, has quickly become a threat in the lives of many children at the hands of organised crime gangs and that AI-generated generated child sexual abuse is very much a here-and-now problem. 

The launch brought together partners and Members of the IWF, and the audience heard from four global industry leaders who spoke about what their organisations were doing to combat online child exploitation and how they work in partnership with the IWF.  

A Q&A session with the panellists concluded the event, which was moderated by BBC tech journalist and HBO actor Waseem Mirza. More than 200 people tuned into watch the livestream and the video is now available to watch, see below. 

The event was held at the Finsbury offices of IWF supporters, Pinsent Masons. The panellists were: 

  • Simon Staffell, IWF Board Member and UK Government Affairs Director at Microsoft  
  • Abbe Horswill, Human Rights and Social Impact Director at Marriott  
  • Brian Cimbolic, Chief Legal and Policy Officer at Public Interest Registry (PIR)  
  • Siggi Ragnarsson, Chief Executive Officer at Videntifier  
  • Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO
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