INHOPE | Welcoming Ochráň Ma Slovakia
Hotline & Network Updates

Welcoming Ochráň Ma Slovakia

Expanding our network into countries that do not yet offer reporting, is one of the main strategic pillars of INHOPE. By providing the public with a way to report illegal content, we enable more efficient and rapid removal of harmful material from the internet. Today, we are thrilled to announce Ochráň Ma Slovakia as our newest INHOPE member. Get to know our new member and learn about their journey towards establishing a hotline.

How did you learn about INHOPE?

Around 2020/21, I attended a Europol training in Selm, with Denton Howard (INHOPE's Executive Director) as the trainer. That was the first time I heard about INHOPE. It surprised me to learn that since 2018 Slovakia has been the only country in the European Union without an active hotline. The statistics he provided were horrifying. Slovakia has repeatedly ranked first positions in the world for sharing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online.

What inspired your organisation to join the network?

After leaving the police force as a national specialist in CSAM and CSE crimes, I wondered how I could continue to protect children. Then, it hit me. I contacted Denton to discuss starting an NGO as a hotline, thereby reconnecting Slovakia to the INHOPE network. Denton was supportive and thought it would be a great idea. So, here we are, finally.

What is the biggest benefit of being part of a network?

As police investigators, we used to say, "It takes a network to take down a network." Being a member of INHOPE is crucial for effectively combating CSAM and other illegal or harmful online content. The network facilitates the exchange of new investigative methods and vital intelligence about offenders and victims, aiding the police in apprehending perpetrators and rescuing victims.

What is the most challenging part of becoming an INHOPE member hotline?

Based on my recent experience, the most challenging aspect is maintaining focus and resilience against any obstacles encountered while meeting the criteria for membership. It's important to remember that we are doing noble work by fighting CSAM, CSE, and other types of crimes, and making the internet a safer place for our society's youngest members.

Tell us a bit more about your hotline

OCHRÁŇ MA – PROTECT ME is an NGO established in April 2022 by myself, Roman Abraham, and my two enthusiastic friends, Boris Malcec and Samuel Vičan. Our signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Work, Social Affairs, and Family have granted us the status of a national hotline. Our mission is to address all harmful or potentially illegal content accessible to Slovakians online.

What type of reports does your hotline process?

We process reports of CSAM, CSE, pornography accessible to children, sex tourism, drugs, hate crimes, grooming, terrorism, IBSA (image-based sexual abuse), GBV (gender-based violence), and other issues.

Can you share any future plans for your hotline?

We aim to collaborate with schools and the Ministry of Education to promote awareness among children and their parents. Educating them about safe internet practices is crucial. The internet is a very useful tool, but it can be equally dangerous.

Click here to learn more about Ochráň Ma.

Welcoming Ochráň Ma Slovakia
06.12.2023 - by Ochráň Ma

Click here to learn more about Ochráň Ma.