Child protection must stay top of world agenda, says UK charity


The Cambridge-based Internet Watch Foundation(IWF) Statement on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Day of General Discussion...

Today children from around the world will have a voice in the international community when the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child hosts its first ever global discussion on empowering under-18s as ‘human rights defenders’.

In a major UN first, children will make up a quarter of the invited participants at the United Nations in Geneva with children as speakers, moderators, social media commentators and contributors to the forum.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) welcomes the Day of General Discussion, which puts children centre stage. As a leader in the fight against exploitation of young people, through its global work to remove child sexual abuse images and videos from the internet, the IWF believes this important initiative is a step in the right direction.

Article 34 of the UN’s convention on the Rights of the Child states that Governments must protect children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. Our work falls directly in line with the UN’s convention on the Rights of the Child and that is why we are today reminding Governments everywhere of their obligations towards children.

Michael Tunks, Policy and Public Affairs Manager said: “We believe wholeheartedly that children have rights that must be respected, protected and promoted. Sadly, each and every day the rights of young people are under attack across the world, so we fully support all UN efforts to raise awareness of the need for greater child protection. This day of discussion and involvement is an important step in children having their voices heard as human rights defenders, but we all need to keep children’s rights at the top of all of our agendas - not just for today, but for every day.

“At the IWF, we are playing our part in the work we do to remove images and videos of child sexual abuse online. We never forget that behind every indecent image we remove from the internet is a real child who has been the victim of abuse. We owe it to them to ensure that we are doing all that we can to ensure that they are able to recover, by not having their suffering compounded by having their abuse viewed online.”


The IWF has observer status on the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Committee, The Committee’s purpose is to monitor Member States’ response to the Convention on the Protection of Children from Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. In July 2018, the IWF was quoted in the UK Government press release of the ratification of the convention:

What we do:

We make the internet a safer place. We help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse. We search for child sexual abuse images and videos and offer a place for the public to report them anonymously. We then have them removed. We’re a not for profit organisation and are supported by the global internet industry and the European Commission.

For more information please visit

The IWF is part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, working with Childnet International and the South West Grid for Learning to promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

The IWF works globally to stop child sexual abuse imagery on the internet. If you ever stumble across a sexual image or video of someone you think is under 18, please report to the IWF. Reporting can be done anonymously and confidentially – we don’t need your details, just your help.



IWF is an international charity working to make the internet a safer place by minimising the availability of online child sexual abuse videos and images.

IWF (Internet Watch Foundation)