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Government in El Salvador ‘committed to keeping children safe online’ as new portal launches

The portal gives people in El Salvador a safe, anonymous place to report child sexual abuse material if they accidentally find it online.

Government in El Salvador ‘committed to keeping children safe online’ as new portal launches

The Government of El Salvador has welcomed new measures to “protect the integrity and safety of children in cyberspace” amid fears of a “significant increase” in child sexual abuse material online during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Today (29 June), the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Government of El Salvador, through the Secretary of Innovation of the Presidency, with help from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), launches a new reporting portal (available at https://report.iwf.org.uk/sv).

The portal, which is available in Spanish, gives people in El Salvador a safe, anonymous place to report child sexual abuse material if they accidentally find it online.

The IWF is the UK charity responsible for finding and removing images and videos of child sexual abuse from the internet.

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.

Vladimir Handal, Secretary of Innovation of the Presidency of the Government of El Salvador said the Government is committed to keeping children safe online, and that the new portal is a “necessary tool” in keeping the internet safe for everyone.

Mr Handal said: "Every day, the risk and exposure of children on the Internet increases. Our commitment as the Government of El Salvador is to protect the integrity and safety of children in cyberspace.

“With the support of IWF we will make available to all Salvadorans the necessary tools to fight cyber crimes on children, in order to make the internet a safe and developmental place for all."

Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the IWF, said the new portal is an important part of making the internet safer and in preventing criminals sharing children’s sexual abuse online.

She said: “Our data shows the youngest most vulnerable children suffer some of the very worst sexual abuse.

“The internet is a definite power for good, but it needs to be safe from these images, and children need to be kept safe from predators who would exploit them.

“This portal is another important step in making sure that wherever this material is shared in the world, people can call it out, and we can work to get it removed. It’s a simple, safe step which could make all the difference in protecting children.”

This is the IWF’s 40th international Portal. It is the second to be set up in Central America following the creation of a portal in Belize. It is the 22nd portal to be sponsored by the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children.

Nayelly Loya, Head of the Global Programme on Cybercrime at UNODC, warned there has been a “significant increase” in child sexual abuse material online during the Coronavirus pandemic, but said the new portal could help protect “highly vulnerable” children.

She said: “The UN Office on Drugs and Crime is again, proud to partner with the Internet Watch Foundation to counter online child abuse.

“During the COVID19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in child sexual abuse material on the Internet.

“Our new Reporting Portal in El Salvador will provide a dedicated means for the public to anonymously report online child sexual abuse images and videos, have them removed, and help to safeguard highly vulnerable children.”

Ms Loya added: “Technology can facilitate crime, but it’s also a part of the solution.  UNODC’s work with the IWF shows how Digital Cooperation between public and private partners can truly keep children safe and help to achieve sustainable development for all.”

Report here