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The United Republic of Tanzania launches IWF Reporting Portal for online images and videos of child sexual abuse

Internet users across Tanzania and Zanzibar will now have a dedicated IWF portal for reporting online child sexual abuse imagery, safely and anonymously.

Childrens hands together

History will be made in the United Republic of Tanzania today (Tuesday 3rd October, 2017) as a new online Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) Reporting Portal for child sexual abuse images and videos goes live.

The IWF Reporting Portal will help to keep web users safe online and ensure the victims of child sexual abuse do not have to suffer the torment of having images of their abuse shared. This innovative project is being supported by C-Sema Tanzania, the Tanzania Police Force and the taskforce for child online safety in Tanzania. It has been funded by a grant from the Fund to End Violence Against Children.

What is the IWF International Reporting Portal?

By working closely with internet companies and countries worldwide, the IWF helps internet users who stumble across online child sexual abuse images and videos to report it anonymously. They provide an online reporting button which feeds directly to IWF expert analysts in the UK, who assess reports and remove illegal content.

How does it work?

If a citizen of the United Republic of Tanzania is using the web, and stumbles across an image of a child being sexually abused, the portal enables them to pass on the information to a specially trained analyst, working in the IWF Hotline. They can assess and take action on any illegal content. The process is completely anonymous and takes seconds.

If the image or video is illegal, the analyst will use a global network of partners to get that content taken down. This means that internet users are kept safe from this material online and the victim in the image is not further victimised.

What impact will the Reporting Portal have for Tanzania?

The potential impact is huge. Each time an image or video of child sexual abuse is uploaded, shared or viewed, that child victim is re-victimised. This is a real child and their suffering is very real. Web users in Tanzania can help protect the victims of child sexual abuse by reporting images or videos when they stumble across them.

Having a dedicated online Reporting Portal which can be used completely anonymously, gives people the confidence to report these horrendous images without fear.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF Chief Executive Officer, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be announcing the launch of the United Republic of Tanzania Reporting Portal. We’re now able to provide a world-class Reporting Portal to protect the country’s citizens. We currently have 17 international reporting portals across the globe. Tanzania will bring that number to 18 and will be the fourth portal to be launched in sub-Sahara Africa. Child sexual abuse imagery is a global problem and we can only fight it with a truly global solution.

“We want the web users of Tanzania to be protected from stumbling across these disturbing images. However, if they do, we want them to know there’s a safe and trusted place where they can report what they’ve seen. We know from our work that just one report can help us remove one, or even a thousand illegal images. Sometimes, just one report is all it takes to identify and rescue a child from sexual abuse. Each and every report is extremely important.”

Thelma Dhaje, National Child Helpline Manager, said: "Being part of the partnership that brings the Reporting Portal to Tanzania is a privilege for all the organisations involved. This global initiative will have a positive impact on the development of the internet in Tanzania and in the long-term help us protect children."

Award-winning services for Industry

IWF is a non-profit organisation working with the leaders of the global internet industry. Our services and expertise are respected world-wide and we help make the internet a safe place for internet customers, wherever they are in the world.

The IWF Image Hash List won the Innovation of the Year 2016 award. It’s the most up-to-date and efficient way of removing and preventing online child sexual abuse images from appearing on the internet. And it’s the best way to protect internet users from stumbling across this type of illegal content.

With the IWF Tanzania Reporting Portal established, IWF will be looking to work with the internet industry in Tanzania to help them further protect their users from stumbling across online child sexual abuse images and videos.

Ends

Notes to editors:

Contact: Emma Hardy, IWF Director of External Relations +44 (0) 1223 203030 or +44 (0) 7929 553679.

Tanzania contact: Ms Thelma Dhaje, National Child Helpline Manager: Thelma.criss@sematanzania.org, (+255) 78709055.

  1. ABOUT THE FUND TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN: The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and its associated Fund accelerate actions to realise the commitments made in the SDGs by supporting those working to prevent and respond to violence, protect childhood and make societies safe for the world’s most precious asset – its children. A multi-donor trust fund has been created to support activities to achieve the vision of the Partnership – a world in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation. The Fund aims to prove through ‘catalytic’ investment that evidence based programming yields tangible results and there is an ‘investment case’ to be made. Internet Watch Foundation is one of the Fund’s initial grantees focusing on online child sexual exploitation.
  2. ABOUT THE NATIONAL CHILD HELPLINE – The National Child Helpline Responds to children in need of care and protection through free telephone number 116 AND voice their concerns to policy and decision-makers Tanzania. 116 is free service available across all networks in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.

For more information on the IWF International Reporting Portal: www.iwf.org.uk/what-we-do/how-we-assess-and-remove-content/our-international-reporting-portal

About IWF:

We make the internet a safer place. We help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse. We search for child sexual abuse images and videos and offer a place for the public to report them anonymously. We then have them removed. We’re a not for profit organisation and are supported by the global internet industry and the European Commission.

For more information please visit www.iwf.org.uk.

The IWF is part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, working with Childnet International and the South West Grid for Learning to promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

Real images, real children

Behind each and every image there is a real child victim. We know that every single time an image or video of a victim is viewed, this child suffers victimisation. We’re here to stop that, for good.

IWF offers a safe and secure place for the public to report suspected child sexual abuse material.

The IWF team of expert analysts assess every single report made to our Hotline. IWF assessments are accurate and trusted by the police and the internet industry around the globe.

Each week, they manually assess more than 1,000 webpages. Each webpage may contain one or thousands of images of child sexual abuse.

Case study

The Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea were among the first to set up an IWF Portal in 2016. We worked with law enforcement, Government, Internet Service Providers and the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) to protect their 60,000 citizens from child sexual abuse imagery online.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service asked the IWF to help analyse websites found on a suspect’s phone. The Intelligence Analyst working on the case - Joanne Delaney – saved valuable investigation time by having IWF

analysts review 47 of the websites found; two of which we hadn’t seen before. Some of the sites showed child sexual abuse material, and included “Disguised Websites”. Disguised websites can look like legal adult content, unless you follow a specific and predetermined pathway to access the site, which will then open up illegal content. People use this method to make it difficult to find and investigate criminal images. Joanne was trained by our analysts on how to identify and analyse these sites for future cases. We supported her investigation, which led to the defendant being prosecuted for a number of child sexual abuse offences. He was imprisoned for 12 years.

Report here