This project had as its ultimate goal reducing the amount of child pornography on the Internet by creating greater cooperation among hotline providers and developing guidelines for more effective protection. (Note: ‘hotline’ is the term generally used for a phone- or on-line facility that people can use to report findings of child pornography on the Internet).
This project aimed to bring together existing hotlines in Europe with related professionals from Europe and the US, to study and exchange views on the issues that both allowed such hotline providers to work together and with allied groups such as the police and Internet Service Providers, or issues that stood in the way of cooperation.
The participants in the project identified key issues to address: how to share information; how to develop common procedures for dealing with reports; liaison with law enforcement; how to help support new hotlines; criteria for organizations to become hotlines. On the basis of these, they joined in a loose Forum, later consolidated into a separate entity, with common goals, directions and a vision for creating standardized, cooperative hotline services across Europe and beyond.
The INHOPE Forum subsequently became a major player in this field and meetings took place with Interpol, the European Commission, NGOs and the Bertelsmann Foundation. The solid theoretical and practical basis of the Forum gave it legitimacy and resulted in impact at the level of policy and practice.
1. Beyond a simple network, a Forum that can move towards standards and norms for structures and working methods requires a thorough examination of the issues that help and that hinder such cooperation.
2. This project is an excellent example of a well prepared, carefully planned project with a clear view of what was to be achieved.
Leaflet describing project (English)
Website (project website since replaced by more general Childnet International website)
The INHOPE Forum was established as a separate organization following the success of this initial project. For further information: INHOPE Association E-mail: email@example.com