What is ‘Vihjeliin’?
‘Vihjeliin’ (www.vihjeliin.ee) is a free online service of the Estonian Union for Child Welfare which enables Internet users to provide information about material being distributed online which depicts illegal content – the sexual abuse or exploitation of minors and child trafficking. Information can be submitted anonymously; your personal details are not investigated or recorded.
Material depicting the sexual exploitation of minors and its distribution, use and production violate the rights, dignity and physical inviolability of the child victims it involves.
Material distributed on the Internet which presents minors in a sexual or erotic context is often designed to encourage people with an unhealthy sexual interest in children to make contact with clandestine communities whose members use materials that violate the right to sexual self-determination of minors to satisfy their own perverse fantasies. Herein lies a risk of the fantasy being enacted in reality – resulting in the direct physical abuse of minors. One of the aims of ‘Vihjeliin’ is to stop such offences being committed.
Work to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors requires a range of measures and close cooperation at the national and international levels. In order to impede the distribution of material depicting the sexual exploitation of minors, the Estonian Union for Child Welfare works closely with other national organisations, including law enforcement authorities, Internet service providers and non-profit organisations, and such international networks as INSAFE and INHOPE.
INSAFE is a network funded by the European Union which unites organisations promoting safer use of the Internet. For more information see www.saferinternet.org.
INHOPE is an international network of organisations that provide online solutions for the prevention of the distribution on the Internet of material depicting illegal content. For more information see www.inhope.org.