The British Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is responsible for searching and finding images or videos of sexual abuse of children on the web. Every year it publishes a report with its results; in 2018, it identified more than 105,000 pages, which were already deleted, most of them hosted on European websites.
47% of the pages were in the Netherlands
The goal of the foundation is to actively remove child pornography websites worldwide. In 2018, they managed to eliminate more than 100,000 pages containing 345,961 individual images, which were mostly -4 out of 5- were hosted in Europe; and 48,900 websites, of which 47% are hosted in the Netherlands.
The institution said in a statement that – even though they carry out tireless work to eliminate images, using the most advanced technological tools – they are far from solving the problem since they consider that the main obstacle to their eradication is demand. On a normal day, at least 100,000 people are looking for images of child pornography.
In contrast, the United Kingdom presented its lowest level in terms of hosting such content, thanks to the hostile environment that created the country for these websites and now represents only 0.4% of the deleted websites, back in 1996, this percentage was 18%.
The United States has the lowest number of websites because technology giants such as Facebook quickly eliminate them before reports reach the IWF. The Netherlands, meanwhile, became a haven for child sexual abuse.
The Dutch government pledged to address the problem in a statement released in 2018, which stated that the fight against child sexual abuse on the Internet should be reinforced. However, cases for this crime increased from 27,970 in 2017 to 48,900 in 2018. The main reasons for this are:
- In the Netherlands, the images remain available for longer than other countries.
- Internet infrastructure and low prices in the Netherlands make it more attractive.
- The Dutch country must reinforce its zero tolerance towards this type of content, considering that criminals seek low cost, low police surveillance and fast access services.
It is important to note that only websites are hosted in Holland, but illegal images are not produced there.
Pornography in the networks
The Internet Watch Foundation revealed in its report that every 7 minutes a child is shown on the Internet being sexually abused. The new technologies have created an environment that facilitates the access, production, and distribution of this pornography, which makes it impossible to know for sure the total number of portals that these child sexual abuse shows.
Since its foundation in 1996, the organization has deleted more than 250,000 pages with pedophile content. Each of the images or videos show sexual assault, violence and a violation of the rights of children.
The IWF ensures that the number of images with sexual abuse content reaches millions and that the number of victims is tens of thousands worldwide. Some of the important data recorded in this report are:
- 43% of victims are between 11 and 15 years old.
- 55% are 10 years old or younger.
- In 33% of cases, there was rape or torture.
Other organizations such as the End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT), warn that, over time, the images have become more graphic and more violent, some even with under one-year-old babies that are filmed. Although they are difficult to see, any detail can help to catch criminals and especially free children from this suffering.