“Don’t ignore it! Report it!” — international hotline conference in Hungary

Published: 15 June 2017

INHOPE, the international association of Internet hotlines fighting against the sexual exploitation of children, hosted its first annual, closed assembly in Hungary, co-organized by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority of Hungary (NMHH) from 13 to 16 of June.

INHOPE is at the forefront of the struggle against paedophile content. The organisation coordinates the work of 54 hotlines from 45 countries as well as facilitating the creation of new online aid services. Reports often give rise to police investigations that successfully identify and save victims and lead to the arrest of offenders. Hotlines alert the police authorities of the country in question to the reported content through their international ties. They forward over 96 thousand (!) reports a year to the police authorities of the various countries.

Good practices and cross-border cooperation

inhope Karas Monika

At the organisation’s event in Budapest lasting from Tuesday to Friday, president of the NMHH, Monika Karas highlighted in her introductory speech that paedophile content transcended the borders of countries, which was why international cooperation was indispensable. Monika Karas stressed that, apart from making the work of the member countries more effective through its coordinated activity, INHOPE also presented an opportunity for conveying good practices.
Internet Hotline, NMHH’s online legal aid service, joined INHOPE in 2012. Hungarian internet users may report paedophile content found on the worldwide web through the www.internethotline.hu site. The Hungarian website also allows for reporting other illegal content, including content which may be harmful to minors, in nine different categories from racist pages to the abuse of personal data or photos.

Every report counts

INHOPE is the main facilitator of the fight against the spread of paedophile content in the world; its partners include local law enforcement agencies, INTERPOL and technology firms. The organisation’s president, Arda Gerkens explained during discussions that their main message to net users was that they mustn’t ignore suspicious signs and that every report counted, which is why the organisation’s main message is captured in their slogan “Don’t ignore it! Report it!”.

“I can give you my own recent example from the Netherlands, which shows just how important every report can be. An image uploaded to the Internet was reported to the Dutch hotline, which turned out to be a picture of a fourteen-month-old child. Naturally, our organisation contacted the law enforcement agencies at once and, thanks to our close international cooperation, they arrested the perpetrator of the crime in Romania within two days. Moreover, the investigation also revealed the abuse of an eight-year-old child. Apart from its horrific nature, the case shows that we can do something about such monstrosities.”

Legal aid service based on trust

Executive Director of INHOPE, Veronica Donoso pointed out that people are more inclined to report suspicious content to hotlines than to the authorities. “They are afraid that if they contact the police, it might be suspicious how they encountered such content in the first place. Hotlines, on the other hand, accept anonymous reports.”

At the same time, however, the professional work of hotlines supports the efficiency of police work, since thanks to the analysis of trained operators, they only forward relevant content to the police. The close cooperation was well illustrated by the fact that, at the gathering in Budapest, an employee of INTERPOL demonstrated how they processed the reports they received, giving examples of details which had proved to be key leads for certain content and had helped identify the victims and catch the perpetrators. For the agency, the main purpose of the analysis of the materials is to identify the exposed children and assist them as soon as possible.

INHOPE offers an opportunity to initiate the removal of paedophile content accessible in Hungary but stored on foreign servers and to receive notifications, through the organisation, of illegal content stored on Hungarian servers.


If you encounter harmful, offensive, harassing content on the Internet or content that might be harmful to minors or published without consent, report it through the Internet Hotline online report interface: http://english.internethotline.hu/reporting/ or through the internethotline@internethotline.hu e-mail address.