The national Child Sexual Abuse Hotline has invested in updating www.childwebalert.gov.mt to ensure a more efficient and effective online reporting process of child sexual abuse material which is illegal in Malta.
The reporting online reporting is an anonymous and confidential system which deals exclusively with the handling of indecent images of minors.
On Wednesday the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) issued a statement to announce the recent revamp of the online reporting website but it has also explained how child sexual abuse material is on the rise worldwide.
Every year it is estimated that millions of illegal images and videos are shared from peer-to-peer networks, on online forums, or are uploaded to pornographic sites.
FSWS explained how such explicit material typically shows innocent children being coerced into posing in a sexualized manner or performing sexual acts alone, with objects, or other people and once any material is shared online it is extremely difficult to retrieve and eradicate, and therefore has the potential to haunt victims throughout their lives.
ChildWebAlert operates under the Foundation of Social Welfare Services and works closely with the local enforcement cybercrime unit as well as InHope, an international network made up of 46 hotlines worldwide that collaborate with Europol and Interpol to remove child sexual abuse material posted online, track and trace the whereabouts of victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.