London, April 3 (IANS) Europe is becoming a global hub for the hosting of child sexual abuse images and videos, suggests a report.

The annual report by the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) released on Sunday found that 60 per cent of worldwide abuse material was now in Europe -- an increase of 19 per cent, the BBC reported.

The Netherlands topped the list of European nations hosting the illegal content, said the IWF report.

Improved reporting and policing by internet service providers (ISP) in North America are believed to have driven the shift.

"The situation is reversed from previous years," said Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the IWF.

"Europe is now the biggest host of child sexual abuse imagery, rather than North America."

In 2015, about 57 per cent of the web pages containing abuse content could be found in North America, according to the IWF figures.

In 2016, this had dropped to 37 per cent with the majority now in Europe.

The IWF report said about 34,212 web pages were found to be displaying abuse content in Europe -- which also includes Russia and Turkey.