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‘Vital’ new reporting portal boosts global fight against online child sexual abuse material

The UK’s Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) worked with the Comorian government to provide a place people can report online child sexual abuse material.

The Internet Watch Foundation, the UK charity responsible for finding and removing child sexual abuse material from the internet, is announcing the launch of a new reporting portal in Comoros

After two years of planning, two cyclones, and an outbreak of measles, a “vital” new reporting portal will give people the chance to help keep child sexual abuse material off the internet.

The Internet Watch Foundation, the UK charity responsible for finding and removing child sexual abuse material from the internet, is announcing the launch of a new reporting portal in Comoros, a volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast.

Two new internet portals, which people can use from today (December 23), will help the people of Comoros report child sexual abuse material. One will be in French, with another in Arabic.

This means people can anonymously report criminal material through the portal, which will be assessed and dealt with by trained IWF analysts in the UK.

The IWF worked closely with the Comorian government to get the portal set up, despite delays caused by two cyclones and an outbreak of measles on the island.

Valentina Picco, IWF International Development Manager, said: “We started working on this portal in 2017.

“At the very beginning the problem was how we could overcome the language differences. We didn’t foresee the environmental challenges.”

Valentina said environmental issues, which include two cyclones which hit the island, as well as outbreaks of disease, set back efforts to get the portal set up on the ground, but that the portal now gives people the chance to overcome the “taboo” of reporting child sexual abuse.

She said: “For us, is about explaining and making clear it is one step closer to winning the fight against online child sexual abuse.

“It is one of the biggest taboos in Africa. This is a good way to open the door on the discussion.

“There are always logistical challenges we need to overcome, but when everyone shares the same goal, we can make real progress.”

IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves OBE said the new portal is an important part of a bigger fight.

She said: “It is such good news that, after so much work, this portal is finally open. Portals like this are vital.

“It’s important that we keep setting these up, and that people, wherever they are in the world, have somewhere safe where they can feel confident reporting online child sexual abuse material.”

Valentina said the creation of the portal will help Comoros take a more active role in the global fight against online child sexual abuse material.

She said: “Being part of a global partnership would give them access to the newer technologies in the fight against child sexual abuse material.

“And it will make them part of a community that will give them the chance to know what other countries are doing and exchange good policies.”

The portal can be found here: https://report.iwf.org.uk/km

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