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IWF global figures show online child sexual abuse imagery up by a third

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Press Release shared by Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police

Thursday, April 19, 2018 – New data shows 37% increase in child sexual abuse URLs

Figures released today (April 18, 2018) by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the charity that searches for and removes online child sexual abuse imagery, show that more of this disturbing material is being found than ever before.  

The data is published in the IWF’s Annual Report, which provides a yearly global measure of the number of online images and videos of children being sexually abused to government, the police and the internet industry. The eagerly awaited report also contains trends in how services are being abused by offenders to host this illegal material.

Turks and Caicosis member of the IWF global network of Reporting Portals.A Reporting Portal is a simple web-based,safe and anonymous way for citizens inTurks and Caicosto send suspected online reports of child sexual abuse material directly to the IWF expert Analysts. They assess the reports and if applicable, have the content removed. The Reporting Portal of Turks and Caicosis available here: https://report.iwf.org.uk/tc.

Key figures and trends in the Annual Report include:

·        Confirmed child sexual abuse URLs (2017) 78,589. This is up by 37% from 57,335 in 2016.

·        Severity up. Category A content, which includes the rape and sexual torture of children,is up by 5%, from 28% of all content to33%.

  • Disguised website abuse in unprecedented increase. The IWF sawa86% rise in use of disguised websites, from 1,572 in 2016 to 2,909 in 2017. This implicates increased intelligence among offenders, who may be going to new lengths to evade detection.
  • Global hosting of child sexual abuse images:
    • Europe worst offender for hosting.Europe now hosts 65% of all confirmed IWF child sexual abuse imagery.This is up from 60% last year. The Netherlands continues to be the worst country for hosting child sexual abuse material.
    • Asia: In 2017, 1,627webpages containing child sexual abuse imagery were hosted in Asia (2%).
    • Africa:In 2017, only 20 webpages containing child sexual abuse imagery were hosted in Africa (<1%).
    • South America: Only 10 webpages containing child sexual abuse imagerywere hosted in South America (<1%).
  • Website brands. The number of child sexual abuse website brands rose by 112%.
  • Websites and newsgroups.In total, 80,318 reports of confirmed child sexual abuse were processed by the IWF, up from 59,548 in 2016. This was a 35% increase.
  • New IWF Reporting Portals worldwide: In 2017 the IWF has launched Portals in three countries: Namibia, Tanzania andMozambique. The IWF has also been awarded a grant from the Fund to End Violence Against Children to launch 30 Reporting Portals in the world’s least developed counties in the next three years, being Tanzania the first Portalunder the grant.
  • 636 reports from Portals: The IWF received 636 reports from the global Portalsnetwork in 2017.
  • To read the IWF’s full 2017 Annual Report go to: iwf.org.uk

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO, said:“Our Annual Report is used as a reference and information tool, to give an accurate global picture of online child sexual abuse imagery. I’m incredibly proud that our Hotline has been able to remove more web pages that contain disturbing images of children being abused, than ever before from the internet. We share our analysis of trends with our partners – in government, law enforcement and industry, so that together we can fight this horrific crime.”

Much of the analysis for the 2017 IWF Annual Report makes for uncomfortable reading, with the images and videos found having increased in their severity. The most serious Category A images, depicting rape and sexual torture, rose to 33% from 28%. Category B images rose from 19% to 21%.

Significantly, the IWF also saw an increase of 86% in disguised websites, from 1,572 websites in 2016, to 2,909 in 2017. These are websites where the child sexual abuse content is only revealed to someone who has followed a pre-set digital pathway.To anyone else, they will only show legal content. This finding indicates an increased intelligence among a select number of offenders, who are going to new lengths to evade detection.

Europe now accounts for 65% of all child sexual abuse imagery the IWF sees, up from 60% last year.It continues to be the worst continent for child sexual abuse material. The top hosting countries of child sexual abuse URLs are the Netherlands, USA, Canada, France and Russia. The Netherlands now hosts 36% of child sexual abuse content, down from 37% last year, while North America has decreased by more than 4% from 22% to 18%. Overall, 87% of all child sexual abuse URLs identified globally in 2017 were hosted in just these top five countries.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF CEO, said: “We are now receiving more reports of child sexual abuse content than ever before. This year we’re seeing offenders getting smarter and finding new ways to abuse legitimate internet services.Our trends analysis tracks this development. It’s concerning that offenders appear to be increasingly using concealed digital pathways to prevent law enforcement and hotlines around the world detecting these criminal websites. We are making huge technological advances, which we’ll be announcing later in the year, but we also need to continue to work globally, in partnership, to fight this disturbing crime. This battle cannot be won in isolation.

“The child victims of sexual abuse online are revictimised again and again, every time their picture is shared. The experience they go through at such a young age is unimaginably horrific, and they frequently take this pain into adulthood with them. That’s why at the IWF we fight every day to make sure these images and videos are removed from the internet, so that victimsare no longer forced to live with the tormentof others seeing the images of their abuse online.

“While I’m so proud of our Hotline for the sheer number of child sexual abuse URLs they’re removing online, these figures show what a vast amount of content is out there.Sadly, this could just be the tip of the iceberg.”

Jenny Thornton, IWF International Development Manager, said: “There is a global disparity in the availability of mechanisms for tackling child sexual abuse imagery online. To address this unevenness, in a world where child sexual abuse imageryonline is a crime that disregards international borders, we are dedicated to equipping the least developed countries with a Reporting Portal. It’s important to do this now, before these countries are targeted because of their vulnerability.”

More top stats and trends from IWF’s 2017 Annual Report:

  • In 2017, IWF Analysts assessed a webpage every four minutes. Every 7 minutes, that webpage showed a child being sexually abused. In 2016, Analysts saw a child being sexually abused every 9 minutes.
  • In total, 80,318 reports of confirmed child sexual abuse were processed by the IWF, up from 59,548 in 2016. This was overall a 35% increase. This figure includes URLs and newsgroups.
  • In 2017, the IWF’s Analysts found 78,589 URLs containing child sexual abuse material, and 571 newsgroups – of which 43,767 individual posts were removed from public access.
  • Image hosting sites continue to be the most abused service at 69% of content.
  • More images featured children aged 0to 10 than last year, rising from 53% to 55%, with images featuring 11 to 15 year-olds dropping from 45% to 43%. Children aged two or under accounted for 2% of content. The last 2% were pages with links to child sexual abuse content.
  • Of the victims, 86% were girls, 7% were boys and 5% featured both genders.
  • A total of 77,082 unique URLs were included on the IWF’s URL list, a 44% increase on 53,552included in 2016.
  • With a 57% increase on last year, more domain names than ever before are being used to host images and videos of children being sexually abused. With 3,791 domains being found this year, compared to 2,416 in 2016, 1,991 in 2015 and 1,694 in 2014, there has been a rise of 124% in four years.
  • In 2017, the IWFtook action against 5,002 URLs on websites using new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). These URLs were located across 1,063 different domains and 50 different new gTLDs.In 2016, action was taken to remove 1,559 URLs from websites using new gTLDs.
  • During 2017, the IWF added 130,671 hashes to its Hash List. At the end of 2017, the list contained hashes relating to 295,389 individual images. Of these hashes, 76,459 relate to the worst forms of abuse – images of rape or sexual torture of children.
  • Each of the IWF’s 13 Analysts saw 10,889 child sexual abuse images when adding to the IWF’s Hash List, alongside reviewing public reports and actively searching for child sexual abuse images and videos.
  • Exactly 50% of the IWF’s reports were proactively sourced while the other 50% were sent in by the public.

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Agreement Signed!  Next Foghorns and Three Times the Arrivals

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#TurksandCaicos, October 13, 2021 – When the foghorns blare again at the Grand Turk Cruise Center it will be well into the Christmas season, but the scheduled arrival of the Carnival Freedom on November 28, will end a 20-month pandemic imposed pause on cruising, the economic life-blood, of the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“We have eleven meetings since May to make this happen.  I think it’s a huge, huge improvement on what we’ve had before, speaking to the value of the partnership of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and Carnival and we look to have a long and fruitful relationship,” said Hon Washington Misick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government today, finally inked a deal with Carnival Corporation, which appeared hinged on the cruise company being granted the green light for an expansion to berthing at the Port, which opened in 2006 on the island of Grand Turk.

The signing of a new Development Agreement followed an October 7 Cabinet approval of the document; the brief ceremony was carried live on Facebook from the Office of the Premier in Grand Turk.

“Indeed as the Premier has stated, we met 11 times and many times in person, you were in every meeting and sometimes with members of Cabinet, the Attorney General and we worked on something that we will all be proud of for many years to come,” said Giora Israel, Senior Vice President Global Port & Destination Development.

Strongly intimated, by Premier Misick, that this expansion had been stalled.  Definitely stated, also by Premier Misick, it is full steam ahead for a resumption of cruising.

“We are confident that cruise ships filled with visitors will be back in time for the high season 21/22. We are not stopping there. Government is investing heavily in the improvement of the Cruise Port and infrastructure in Grand Turk including: Acquisition of a Property to be converted into a Vendors Market. $1.5m dollars has been allocated to refurbish and improve the property. Additional properties will be acquired and developed to accommodate vendors who depend on the cruise industry for their livelihood. 2-million dollars will be spent to construct a floating dock for the Water Sports Operators. We are providing up to $1 million in grants to eligible operators to help them prepare for the reopening of the Cruise Industry,” said the Premier during a National Address on September 23.

Three cruises to Grand Turk are booked for November and December 2021 and if all goes according to schedule – or better – the cruise calls on November 28, December 11, December 12 and December 26 will usher in a happier holiday season for the dozens of companies left in limbo with the crash of cruising in March 2020.

“I really want to thank our employees at the Port.  We have had employees who stayed here for the last two years working hard to maintain the port,” said Mr. Israel as he acknowledged the enthusiasm shown by the TCI Government to complete the deal; he added, “But I also want to thank the Community of Grand Turk.  We are a part of this community; we have been welcomed as a part of this community.  The Community has embraced us and we have embraced the Community, the business community and we need to look at this as a partnership,” expressed Mr. Israel during the live stream.

Outside of cruise tourism, Grand Turk draws dive enthusiasts from around the world and is increasingly experiencing popularity in the luxury villa market.  Nonetheless, these other distinctions for the island which is home to the Parliament and the Governor’s Residence, fall a distant second and third place to the thousands of cruise visitors travelling on four, five and six day itineraries; Cruising is what really brings the boom.

“We’ve had a long partnership of 20 years and this partnership is just getting better.  New horizon, new opportunities and when I look at this magazine, which is a magazine we issued when the port was opened, we expected that the biggest ship would be 1,800 passengers.  Within 90 days of today, we are expecting ships that will be able to carry three times the number of passengers…”

The Development Agreement gives Carnival Corporation the permissions and perimeters to begin a $25 million dock expansion project.  The Turks and Caicos Cabinet informed that the signatories represented:  the Crown, the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Grand Turk Cruise Terminal Ltd and Carnival Corporation.

Details of the Agreement were not revealed, therefore the scope of the expansion remains unknown.   What has been made clear is upon completion of the new dock, the largest ships in Carnival’s fleet will be able to moor in Grand Turk with the high probability that cruise passenger and crew arrivals to the islands of Grand Turk and Salt Cay, will triple.

 

 

 

 

Carnival elation Dec 11

Carnival Freedom Nov 28, dec 26

Carnival freedom Dec 12

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CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases

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October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at: https://www.carpha.org/Projects/Ongoing-Projects/Strengthening-Strategic-Intelligence-and-Partnership-Approaches-To-Prevent-and-Control-NCDs-and-Strengthen-Regional-Health-Security-In-The-Caribbean

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TCI Community College’s Tourism Students attended the NABHOOD International Summit

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#Turks&Caicos Islands, October 14, 2021 –   Students from the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College were afforded the opportunity to attend the 25th Annual International African American Hotel Ownership & Investment Summit & Trade Show; 8th Annual International Multicultural and Heritage Tourism Summit – NABHOOD

The invitation was extended through the Premier’s Office in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Tourism.

Chair of the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ms. Michelle Hosten chaperoned 3 students:  Jerrika Francis, Danae Dennie; 2nd Year students pursuing an Associate Degree in Tourism Management at the Grand Turk Campus and Christy Ewing, a 1st Year student pursuing an Associate Degree in Tourism Management at the Providenciales Campus.

The students met CEOs from international hospitality brands and most importantly other students from other Caribbean and International Schools. The benefits of this created a wealth of networking opportunities as well as learning about others. They participated in workshops and sessions and spent time with Tourism centered activities and projects.

Ms. Jerrika Francis shared her memories from the conference: “Attending the NABHOOD Summit was a great experience for me. I got to learn more about the Tourism Industry and I also acquired more knowledge on how I can make it in the industry. It was such an honour that I was chosen to represent my Faculty at this event.”

Caribbean Junior Minister and TCI’s Junior Minister, Ms. Danae Dennie gave these highlights: “Attending the NABHOOD African American Hotel Ownership and Investment Summit and the international Multicultural and Heritage Tourism Summit and Trade Show has been such a wonderful experience. I was able to gain great insight into the hospitality and tourism industry.”

Ms. Dennie continued, “I learnt that as a woman in the industry I should always be bold and confident in my abilities. I learnt from various CEOs that you can start from the bottom and make it to the very top. I was also encouraged to “make my own room” if there is none that fits my interests.”

Ms. Dennie concluded her sentiments, “The conference was very informative. I was able to speak with many CEOs and Presidents of various tourism organizations. I was even given the opportunity to speak with the Premier of the TCI. I was so grateful for the opportunity. Therefore, I would like to thank the TCI Government for funding this trip. Lastly, I would like to specially thank the Turks and Caicos Community College for giving me the opportunity to have such amazing experiences.”

Christy Ewing who recently entered the Faculty had this to say: “I was one of the students chosen to go to Miami, Florida for NABHOOD’s 25th Annual Summit and Trade Show. I learnt many interesting things and advice that can be used in my career later on. I also met many new people who gave me a wider insight and perspective on things in the tourism industry.”

She continued, “I had the pleasure of meeting with the Premier of the Turks and Caicos, the Hon. Charles W. Misick, who spoke with us and informed us on his plans for the tourism industry. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity and will be happy to do it again.”

Ms. Hosten gave an overall assessment of the trip and what the students would have experienced while there: “It was an extremely surreal experience meeting and watching CEOs of major international hotel brands as well as large investment firms and suppliers discussing their rise to the top, what their brand represents, their bottom line during and post COVID.”

Ms. Hosten continued, “Their words of wisdom to students and their willingness to invest in US hospitality institutions without hesitation, especially black America and other minority groups was so profound. They understand where most of their Supervisors and Management pool will stem from so creating systems, programmes and funding in these groups are all worthwhile investments.”

It left a lasting impact on Ms. Hosten: “Being there was like being at the Hollywood of Hospitality players awards and I am most humbled to have been given this chance to carry students to experience this wealth of opportunities first hand and the many avenues in this industry to get there.”

Hon Rachel Taylor met the students upon arrival back to the Turks and Caicos Islands and she expressed her thanks to the Team for ably representing the country and the College. She was thanked for her confidence in allowing the students to be a part of this educational venture.

Students, you got a chance to shine and represent the Turks and Caicos Islands and the TCI Community College. Thank You!

We are TCICC!

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