Child sexual abuse material hosted in the EU increased by 26%, IWF reports

IWF found that he EU has seen a 26% increase in child sexual abuse material hosting in 2023, with Category A material up 54%. The IWF urges EU legislators to act promptly to combat this issue.

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New data released by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) shows that the amount of child sexual abuse material hosted in the EU has increased by 26% this year compared to last year. Additionally, the most extreme types of child sexual abuse material, known in the UK as Category A material, hosted in the EU have increased by 54% compared to the same period last year. It was also found that between 1 January and 25 August 2023, the IWF identified 101,988 web pages containing child sexual abuse material hosted on servers in the EU countries.

The IWF has warned that even countries that have not historically struggled with hosting criminal images are worsening the situation. For example, the increase in the hosting of child sexual abuse content in some of the EU countries is found to be:

  • 150% in Germany,
  • 4,000% in Estonia, and
  • 107% in the Netherlands.

The IMF is now calling on the EU legislators to address the deteriorating situation and accelerate relevant legislation to tackle the spread of online child sexual abuse material. Failure to do so will only send the wrong message to criminals and abusers.