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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Internet Investigation Report

A.6: Terminology

28. There are a number of ways in which law enforcement, industry and government describe child sexual abuse and exploitation. Witnesses have referred to ‘CSA’ (child sexual abuse), ‘CSAM’ (child sexual abuse material), ‘CSAE’ (child sexual abuse and exploitation), ‘CSE’ (child sexual exploitation) and ‘CSEA’ (child sexual exploitation and abuse). Often these terms are used interchangeably.

29. In addition to the phrase ‘indecent images of children’, reference has occasionally been made to ‘child pornography’. The Inquiry does not use this phrase. Indecent images of children are not pornography. They are a form of child sexual abuse and are illegal.


30. References in the footnotes of this report such as ‘INQ000993’ are to documents that have been adduced in evidence or published on the Inquiry website. A reference such as ‘Chief Constable Simon Bailey 20 May 2019 102/23’ is to the witness, the date he or she gave evidence, and the page and line reference within the relevant transcript.

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