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The topic of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is often hard to discuss. It's taboo and challenging, but it's a prevalent issue and INHOPE needs to become a household name. The public needs to know what CSAM is, how children are targeted online, what digital safety measures are necessary, and how to report this content when they see it. Awareness and education are the best ways to tackle CSAM online and prevent its creation.

Who is INHOPE?

INHOPE is a network of hotlines whose primary goal is to notify internet service providers for the swift removal of illegal content from the internet and to report the case to the relevant law enforcement agency for further investigation. Each hotline is different in how they process and remove content but all hotlines within the INHOPE Network share a vision of a world free of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) online.

What is the issue?

Children are being sexually abused around the world. Maybe in your country, in your neighbourhood, on your street or even in your home. Freeing the world of child sexual abuse cannot just be an organisation’s mission statement. It is far more than that. While the INHOPE Network is dedicated to tackling CSAM every day, more and more reports of CSAM are being made and this increase is happening at an alarming rate. In 2021, the network processed almost a million content URLs, over 80% of which was new unknown material.

How do we tackle CSAM?

We need to stop believing in myths that CSAM is limited to a specific location, economic status or cultural background and start reacting to the fact that CSAM is a societal issue and we all have a responsibility. We know who we are and what our role is, but do you know yours?

  • As educators, we need to include CSAM in the curriculum, alongside other dangers like sexual abuse and exploitation, which are prevalent and must be addressed.
  • As government stakeholders, we must provide funding to set up a hotline and ongoing support.
  • As policymakers, we must challenge policies and update existing legislation so that it aligns with the borderless digital environment.
  • As the media, we have to create public service announcements around CSAM. It is in everyone's interest to raise awareness to change behaviour.
  • As online platforms, we need to provide user-friendly resources to keep users safe and share information on bad actors.
  • As law enforcement agencies we must reduce the amount of manual work by investing in and implementing tooling that allows officers to prioritise investigations.
  • As child protection organisations we need to collaborate more and share insights and best practices.
  • As Trust and Safety professionals we must not operate in silo from our colleagues, our role is vital to the safety of our users/customers and internal knowledge sharing is essential for greater organisational buy-in.

As the public, we all need to acknowledge the existence of CSAM and learn what it is and how to report it. Here are the basics of what everyone needs to know:

  1. What is CSAM?
  2. What is a hotline?
  3. Where to report?

How can I get involved?

This campaign is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the European Education and Culture Executive Agency can be held responsible for them.


We need to stop believing that CSAM is limited to a specific location, or economic or cultural background and start reacting to the fact that CSAM is a societal issue. We all have a responsibility, do you know yours?