New partnership to help young people remove explicit images online

ChildLine and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) are joining forces to ensure young people of 17 years and under know where to turn to get sexually explicit images removed from the internet.

The partnership comes as a result of a ChildLine survey of 13-18 year olds which revealed that young people are frequently taking huge risks by making and sending sexual images of themselves - known as 'sexting'.

  • 60 per cent said they had been asked for a sexual image or video of themselves.
  • 40 per cent said they had created an image or video of themselves.
  • 25 per cent said they had sent an image or video of themselves to someone else.

How ChildLine will work with the IWF when an explicit online image is reported

  1. ChildLine will request verification of the name and date of birth of the young person pictured by:
    ~ obtaining scanned copies of official photographic ID, or
    ~ verification from a school, social worker or police liaison officer.
  2. If it is necessary to seek verification of age without photographic ID, the reason for this request will remain confidential.
  3. ChildLine will complete an IWF referral form including a link to the image or video to be removed. Reports made to the IWF are confidential.
  4. On receipt of the referral form, the IWF team assess the report against UK law.
  5. IWF contacts the police and either the hosting company or relevant global hotline to ensure the online image is removed.

A new phone app aimed at young people looking for advice is also being launched. The 'Zipit' app will offer witty alternative images to send instead of explicit ones, advice for how to engage in safe chat and what to do if you feel threatened or if an image becomes public. The app is planned for release later this month.


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