Seventh conference on the topic of child abuse on the internet

Members of the Centre for Social Informatics coordinate the hotline, Spletno oko, which enables internet users to anonymously report hate speech and images of child sexual abuse found on the internet. Working in close cooperation with the police, internet service providers (ISPs), and other governmental and non-governmental organisations in Slovenia, the main mission of Spletno oko is to reduce the number of images of child sexual abuse and online hate speech.

This year we celebrate the tenth anniversary of Spletno oko and according to that, we organised the seventh conference titled “E-child abuse; yesterday, today and tomorrow”. During the welcome speech Vasja Vehovar, PhD, coordinator of the Safer Internet Centre, stressed that, in ten years of working, we have received 5,100 reports of alleged child sexual abuse material and just under 1,400 reports have been forwarded to the police. The majority of the content was found on foreign servers. Vehovar also warned the attendees about the trend of the reducing age of victims of child abuse and how, at the same time, the material presents increasingly worse forms of sexual abuse.

At the conference, we hosted representatives of the main authorities that deal with child abuse: Mr Dušan Zupančič from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Mag Boštjan Lindav, assistant director of the Criminal Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate, Mrs Vlasta Nussdorfer, the Ombudsman of Slovenia and Anton Toni Klančnik, head of the Department of Juvenile Crime at the Criminal Police Directorate of the General Police Directorate.

The guests from abroad were Maggie Brennan, PhD, from University College Cork and Mrs Katarzyna Staciwa from Europol.

More than 250 people attended the conference, which included lectures addressing the topics of sexual abuse as a criminal offence, interviewing an alleged victim of abuse and taking a step further in the discussion of online abuses.