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UNODC in collaboration with UNICEF and Internet Watch Foundation initiates the process of launching virtual portals for reporting images of child online sexual abuse in Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize

Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, February 12th, 14th and 16th, 2018. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in close collaboration with the Internet Watch Foundation and with the support of UNICEF has initiated the implementation process of virtual portals for reporting images of child online sexual abuse in Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize.

These complaint portals aim to make available to the citizens of the countries a tool to proactively search for images and videos of child sexual abuse on the internet. They are public access and allow working together with the private and public sector to eliminate content and curb its dissemination. Since its creation in 1996, the Internet Watch Foundation has eliminated around 150,000 pages with this type of content. Currently there are 19 portals installed and the forecast is to install 10 more, including the three in Central America, in the period 2018-2019.

The implementation of this initiative in Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize has had the institutional support of the institutions of the States. The institutions of the telecommunications sector have participated; justice and security sector (Supreme Court of Justice, Public Prosecutor's Office, Police), and institutions for the protection of the rights of children and adolescents. In addition, there was the participation of a broad representation of civil society organizations, as well as the main Internet service providers.

It is strategic to have the participation of this variety of actors, insomuch as all of them have a relevant role in the process of eliminating online child sexual abuse content that violates the rights of girls and boys. It is important to highlight that this regional initiative is linked to the fulfillment of the goals of the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • 5.2 - Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
  • 5.3 - Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.
  • 16.1 - Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.
    • 16.1.3 - Proportion of the population, physical, psychological or sexual violence in the previous 12 months.
    • 16.2 - End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.
    • 17.17 - Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.

The activities were carried out thanks to the financial resources kindly provided by the State of Qatar and Norway, within the framework of the global Cybercrime project and the implementation of the Doha Declaration linked to crime prevention and criminal justice, implemented by UNODC.