Indonesians urged to report online child sexual abuse
The coronavirus pandemic has lent greater ‘urgency’ to tackling online threats
Indonesians are being urged to report online videos and images of children being sexually abused as a new online tool gives people a safe way to report amid heightened “urgency” during the coronavirus pandemic.
From today (June 19), for the first time, people living in Indonesia will have a dedicated portal 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.
The new portal, which can be accessed at https://report.iwf.org.uk/id, will be a “considerable boost” 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 anti-exploitation organisation ECPAT Indonesia. It was set up with funds from the Global Partnership 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 prevents the continued sharing of the material, preventing revictimisation of the children who have suffered sexual abuse.
According to ECPAT, there are estimated to be 40,000 to 70,000 child victims of sexual exploitation throughout Indonesia. Of these, 21,000 of them are estimated to be involved in prostitution on Java Island alone.
IWF International Development Manager Jenny Thornton said the virtual round table event hosted by the IWF to set up the portal was the biggest she has ever seen, with at least 64 local and international participants.
She said this shows how seriously the issue of child sexual abuse material on the internet is taken in Indonesia.
Ms Thornton said: “The portal has developed quickly, due to the urgency that the covid-19 pandemic has put on establishing new online child protection measures.”
Susie Hargreaves, CEO of the IWF, said: “I think this is an issue that has really brought people together. It’s something that is important to tackle, and there is a real groundswell of support for keeping children safe and ridding the internet of criminal content.
“Having this portal in Indonesia will be a considerable boost in making sure the internet is a better place and victims of child sexual abuse are that bit safer.”
Ahmad Sofian, National Coordinator of ECPAT Indonesia said the reporting portal is important because victims in Indonesia are being “stigmatized due to cultural issues”.
He said: “It will be a steppingstone in enabling us to report child sexual abuse cases, so that we are able to be responsive in protecting not only victims, but also reporters.
“We also hope the partnership will also lead to the better case handling in prosecuting child sexual abuse cases and protecting the victims.”
Marie-Laure Lemineur, Deputy Executive Director for Programmes at ECPAT International, said: "ECPAT International is happy to see that more and more ECPAT members around the world are partnering to operate reporting portals of child sexual abuse material.
“The detection and reporting of this type of online content can only be enhanced through international and cross-sector collaboration. This is the only way ahead for society to become more efficient at identifying and rescuing child victims and arresting offenders."
The new portal is available in Indonesian and English. It is the IWF’s 37th IWF portal.
IWF Portals are now available in 15 languages, Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Kazakh, Lingala, Mongolian, Nepali, Pashto, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Ukrainian, and Urdu.