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US and Russia urged to 'stem tide of child pornography'

IWF handles record number of complaints

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A leading children's charity has called on the Governments of the US and Russia to do more to combat online child pornography.

According to the latest stats from the UK's Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), 40 per cent of the online child abuse content it investigates is traced to the US, while 28 per cent of online images are tracked back to Russia. At the same time, the amount of child pornography hosted in the UK is just 0.4 per cent.

Supporters of the IWF - a partnership between ISPs, police and government - claim the group has proved to be effective in removing illegal material with its universal "notice and takedown service" ensuring that illegal content is removed swiftly.

John Carr, new technology adviser for kids charity NCH, reckons this proves that the IWF's approach to stamping out child pornography is working. But unless other countries adopt similar measures, paedophiles are still able to operate.

"The Governments of the USA and Russia need to up their game and stem the tide of child pornography leaving their virtual shores because it is putting children across the world at risk," Carr said.

Publishing its 2005 Annual Report, the IWF said it handled a record number of complaints from net users about potentially illegal material. Of the 23,600 reports of potentially illegal material, some 6,000 were passed onto law enforcement agencies. Less than one per cent of illegal material was hosted in the UK - down from 18 per cent ten years ago.

"The public can feel confident in the IWF's hard work over the last ten years combating these shocking crimes," IWF head Amanda Jordan said. "The test will be to bring the same commitment and effectiveness to other countries, particularly Russia and the US where the majority of child abuse content appears to be hosted." ®

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