The most severe Category A online child sexual abuse doubles in two years, new IWF data shows

28 Apr 2023 UK SIC

The number of webpages containing extreme Category A child sexual abuse material found by the IWF has more than doubled since 2020, with newborn babies and toddlers appearing in some of the content, the IWF 2022 annual report reveals.

In 2022, the IWF found a record-breaking 51,369 webpages containing the most severe kinds of abuse, up from 25,050 pages in 2020. Category A material now makes 20 per cent of all the content removed by the IWF, up from 18 per cent in 2021, and 17 per cent in 2020.

The annual report also shows that some of the most hideous crimes are being inflicted upon the youngest. In 2022, 81 percent (810 URLs) of the webpages depicting the sexual abuse of 0-2 year olds, and 50 per cent (5,622 URLs) of the criminal imagery of 3-6 year old children, contained Category A material.

IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves OBE, said: “We have seen criminals looking to exploit more and more insidious ways to profit from the abuse of children. 

“I don’t think I can overstate the harm being done here. These are real children, and the suffering inflicted on them is unimaginable. They are being raped, and subjected to sexual torture, and criminals are making money off the back of that. It is truly appalling.”

Read the full report here.  

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