How to report Child Abuse images to the IWF

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This article explains who the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) are and what they do; as well as what steps you should take if you, a student, or a colleague encounter child abuse images.


You, a student, or a colleague has encountered images which you believe to be child abuse and you would like to know what next steps should be taken in order to report this content to the necessary authorities.


The IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) is a non-profit organization which flags content considered illegal according to UK law and produces a CAIC (Child Abuse Image Content) list of URLs which is then used by filtering companies, search providers, and ISPs to prevent access to illegal content.

In addition to providing the CAIC list, the IWF also works with local, national, and international police helping them to identify and remove illegal content, and help to rescue victims of abuse.

If you, a student, or another member of staff encounters child abuse images then you should perform the following steps;

  1. Where possible report the URL immediately to the IWF via the online portal (
  2. Do not investigate yourself. Child abuse is illegal according to UK law; and any suspicion of child abuse imagery should be reported so that it can be dealt with appropriately.
  3. Be aware that seeing images of Child abuse does not mean that a user was explicitly searching for that content.


Last updated: Author: Contributions by:
15h January 2018 Christopher Smith