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New ‘weapon’ in fight against online child sexual abuse to help protect children in Haiti

‘Wherever criminals seek to make children victims, and wherever children risk being harmed by the proliferation of this evil material, people must come together to fight it. That is exactly what has happened here in Haiti’

‘Wherever criminals seek to make children victims, and wherever children risk being harmed by the proliferation of this evil material, people must come together to fight it. That is exactly what has happened here in Haiti’

A new “weapon” in the fight against child sexual abuse will help keep children safe and protect the most vulnerable.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the UK-based charity responsible for finding and removing child sexual abuse material from the internet, is today (6 May) launching a new way to help keep children in Haiti safe. 

A new reporting portal (which can be accessed here https://report.iwf.org.uk/ht) set up by the IWF will help people in Haiti to report child sexual abuse material should they stumble across it online. 

Once reported, the material will be assessed by IWF analysts in the UK and, if it is found to contain images or videos of child sexual abuse, it will be removed. 

Susie Hargreaves OBE, CEO of the IWF, welcomed the launch, saying children, wherever they live, deserve to be kept safe.

Ms Hargreaves said: “We believe children deserve a childhood and they deserve to be able to enjoy that in safety. We also believe the internet can be a brilliant tool helping them learn, socialise, and keep in touch.

“But we also know the internet is abused, and that children are, all too often, the victims. This new reporting portal is a hugely important weapon in our fight against online child sexual abuse material.”

The IWF worked closely with anti-trafficking organisation Rapha International, and the Haiti National Police to get the portal set up.

André Ibreus, Assistant Director of Labour / Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour and President of the National Committee Against the Exploitation of People (CNLTP) said: “To fight against online child sexual abuse is and will be a humanitarian act. 

“The action of the IWF is aligned with the global dynamic of protection of the most vulnerable children.

“For the National Committee Against the Exploitation of People, this is a praiseworthy action to support.”

Jenny Thornton, the IWF’s international Development Manager, said the new portal would be available in French and English, to help as many people as possible access the service.

Ms Thornton said: “Making sure people have somewhere safe and anonymous to report child sexual abuse they spot online is essential to making the internet a safer place for everyone.

“Getting this portal set up in Haiti shows the importance of working together with our local partners.

“Wherever criminals seek to make children victims, and wherever children risk being harmed by the proliferation of this evil material, people must come together to fight it. That is exactly what has happened here in Haiti, and I’m very pleased to see this portal being launched.”

The portal was launched in partnership with the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children. It can be found at https://report.iwf.org.uk/ht

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