CSEA Hotline

Definition 

  • A dedicated hotline to report internet material suspected to be illegal, including child sexual abuse material.
  • Once confirmed as child sexual abuse material, the hotline works in partnership with industry to ensure the content is removed from view from industry services as swiftly and effectively as possible, and that the case is referred by the hotline to the national law enforcement agency responsible for investigating CSEA cases for further investigation and victim identification. 
  • The hotline can operate as part of the INHOPE international network of hotlines that work together to share information to eradicate child sexual abuse material from the internet wherever it may be found across the globe.
  • INHOPE’s common procedures for receiving and processing reports are followed and there is compliance with INHOPE’s set of best practices.

Why is it needed? 

  • A hotline or a reporting portal provides an accessible and secure platform for the reporting of suspected child sexual abuse material found on the Internet.
  • An effective hotline facilitates the efficient removal of child sexual abuse material from the Internet by the hosting service which reduces the availability of this material.
  • An effective hotline will reassure the public and industry that reported material, if found to be illegal, will be passed to the relevant law enforcement agency and/or Internet Service Provider (ISP) for further action.

Good practice 

  • To effectively combat child sexual abuse material, a country needs to introduce protocols according to its national situation.If starting from a zero baseline, a legislative review and any necessary amendments to existing legislation (or the drafting of new legislation) are essential prior to the implementation of a hotline.
  • Robust and standardised processes for receiving, prioritising, actioning and referring reports received via the hotline should be implemented. These should be formally agreed between the hotline and the law enforcement body and the hotline and ISPs where practical and points of contact should be established.
  • Any reports of child sexual abuse material hosted overseas should be referred to law enforcement in that country via Interpol if there is no hotline to liaise with.
  • The hotline or reporting mechanism should be promoted publicly.