What is a Hotline
INHOPE Hotlines offer the public a way of anonymously reporting Internet material including child sexual abuse material they suspect to be illegal. The Hotline will ensure that the matter is investigated and if found to be illegal the information will be passed to the relevant Law Enforcement Agency and in many cases the Internet Service Provider hosting the content.
All INHOPE member Hotlines must comply with a set of best practices. Included in this is the Code of Practice.
For a full list of member Hotlines click here
What is INHOPE
INHOPE is the International Association of Internet Hotlines. INHOPE coordinates a network of Internet Hotlines all over the world, supporting them in responding to reports of illegal content to make the Internet safer.
INHOPE was founded in 1999 and has grown to a network of 44 Hotlines in 38 countries across the globe. This was achieved with funding and support from the European Commission under the Safer Internet Program. In recent years Internet usage & connectivity have grown rapidly. It has changed the way we communicate, the way we do business and ultimately the way we live. Sadly there are those who use this technology for illegal activities especially spreading Child Sexual Abuse Material.
INHOPE is registered in the Netherlands (1999) and is governed by it Articles of Association and code of practice. Click on any of the links below to see a copy of the relevant documentation:
To support and enhance the performance of Internet Hotlines around the World; ensuring swift action is taken in responding to reports of illegal content making the internet a safer place. To achieve this mission, INHOPE has five specific objectives:
- To establish policies and best practice standards for hotlines and encourage exchange of expertise among members through fostering good working relationships and trust.
- To ensure rapid and effective response to illegal content reports around the world by developing consistent, effective and secure mechanisms for exchanging reports between Hotlines internationally and ensuring a coordinated approach is taken.
- To expand the network of INHOPE Hotlines around the world by identifying and supporting new Hotlines to become members by providing consultation and training to meet best practice standards.
- To promote a better understanding of the work of hotlines to policymakers at an international level, including government, law enforcement and other related bodies, with the aim of achieving better co-operation internationally.
- To raise awareness of INHOPE and member hotlines with key stakeholders as well as the general public as a "one stop shop" for global reports of illegal content from around the world especially Child Sexual Abuse Material.
Key functions of INHOPE
- Exchange expertise
- Support new hotlines
- Exchange reports
- Interface with relevant initiatives
- Educate and inform policy makers at the international level
- Freedom of the Internet.
- A commitment to positive uses of the Internet
- Shared responsibility for protection of young people by government, educators, parents and the Internet industry
- To establish and support effective national Hotlines.
- To train and support new Hotlines
- To foster ongoing Internet safety awareness and education
- The establishment of effective common procedures for receiving and processing reports
By 1995, internet users, the internet industry, governments and law enforcement agencies were aware that the internet was being used by paedophiles for the publication and exchange of Child Sexual Abuse Images. Other illegal activities were also moving to the internet including the publication of extreme racist material.
Various national initiatives brought together the various stakeholders to consider how to prevent illegal activity and especially the abuse of children on the internet. In Germany a number of separate initiatives commenced that were first discussed at the time of high profile court cases and parliamentary debates in 1995/96. At the same time Childnet International was established as a non-profit organisation based in London UK with a mission to "promote children's interests in international communications".
In June 1996, the first internet child pornography hotline was established in the Netherlands by concerned individuals in the internet industry with the support of the police. This was quickly followed by initiatives in Norway, Belgium and the UK before the end of 1996.
Other countries began to take notice and plans for hotlines were being finalised in Austria, Ireland, Finland, Spain, and France. In 1997 Childnet International proposed that hotlines around the world should work more closely. It secured funding under the EC Daphne programme to establish a forum for European hotlines to meet and discuss common issues of concern.
The INHOPE Forum was formed and 8 hotlines formed the INHOPE Association. The hotlines agreed the statutes of the association and it was formally established as a Dutch company on 23rd November 1999. Click here for a copy of the articles of association and also the INHOPE Rules & Regulations.
Today, there are INHOPE Hotlines across the globe including Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. Through meeting regularly to share knowledge and best practise, INHOPE and its members are working to tackle the global problem of illegal content online especially Child Sexual Abuse Material............