Safe and anonymous way for Senegalese people to report abuse

Published:  Wed 24 Jun 2020

A new online tool is providing a “vital foundation” to help keep the internet safe from images and videos of child sexual abuse.

From today (24 June) people living in Senegal will have a safe and anonymous way to report videos or images of child sexual abuse they see on the internet so that they can be safely assessed and removed by trained analysts.

A new online portal, which can be accessed in both Wolof and French, has been set up at https://report.iwf.org.uk/sn. This is an important step in making the internet a safer place.

It will give people a safe and, anonymous place to report this material if they accidentally stumble across it on the internet.

The portal has been set up by the Internet Watch Foundation, the UK charity responsible for finding and removing videos and images of children suffering child sexual abuse from the internet, and CAPE - the Child Protection Support Unit of the Senegalese Government.

It was set up with funds from the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children.

Once reported through the new portal, images and videos will be assessed by trained IWF analysts in the UK. If they are found to contain child sexual abuse, they can be blocked and removed from the internet.

This disrupts the continued sharing of the material, preventing revictimisation of the children who have suffered sexual abuse.

Jenny Thornton, IWF’s International Development Manager, said: “Despite strict laws criminalising the sexual abuse of children, Senegal did not have any mechanism that would enable citizens to report child sexual abuse imagery online in order to remove it from the internet.

“This new cooperation between CAPE and the IWF is bridging this gap.”

Susie Hargreaves, Chief Executive of the IWF, said: “New reporting infrastructure like this portal is a vital foundation for stopping child sexual abuse material spreading across the globe.

“If we can help make another country a less welcoming place for this criminal content, we can drive down demand and, ultimately, help keep children safe.

“There can be nowhere for these criminals to hide and, for victims, we must do all we can to make sure images and videos of their abuse are wiped off the internet for good.”

Ramatoulaye Ndao Diouf, Senior Advisor to the President and Managing Director of CAPE, said: “The Child Protection Unit is delighted to work in partnership with the Internet Watch Foundation to launch the Reporting Portal, a very important tool.

“It will allow better protection for children who are exposed to the dangers of online child sexual exploitation.

“I thus encourage all internet users to accompany us in our fight against online exploitation by reporting in just a few clicks all the images and videos of sexual abuses of children.”

This is the 38th IWF Portal, the 17th to be set up in Africa, and the 20th Global Fund sponsored portal.

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