CEPOL hosts training to improve competences in the fight against child-abuse material online

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Cooperation
07 April 2015

This week, a major milestone will be reached in the fight against the production and dissemination of child sexual abuse material over the Internet for financial gain. Hosted by the European Police College (CEPOL) in Budapest from 7 to 10 April, a training course will allow over 40 participants representing law enforcement, the private sector and NGO Hotlines from the INHOPE Network to acquire the technical, operational and procedural competences to detect and prevent the production and dissemination of commercial child sexual abuse material online. The training takes place in the context of the European Financial Coalition against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC), a project chaired by Europol’s Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and coordinated by Missing Children Europe, and it will be led by CEPOL, EC3 and MasterCard.

Through a combination of presentations on various methods of investigation and practical workshops participants will become acquainted with relevant Internet investigation techniques, act against the use of legitimate payment systems to trade child sexual abuse material and gain knowledge on how to follow and manage criminal compliance procedures. Particular focus will also be placed on how to establish and strengthen public-private partnerships in enhancing the sharing of knowledge and sharpening of (tracing) skills in preventing the misuse of financial services for commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Olivier Burgersdijk EFC-Chairman and Head of Strategy of EC3 said: "Having practitioners from various relevant partners attending the EFC training will hopefully improve the prevention of and protection against the abuse of payment systems for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. In particular, the combination of participants from different sectors, including law enforcement and financial services, is expected to contribute to a better mutual understanding of how their roles complement each other. As such, it can stimulate successful multi-disciplinary cooperation and lead to even better results.

In February, the EFC published a strategic assessment of commercial sexual exploitation of children online which found that criminals that sexually exploit children online are becoming more entrepreneurial with technological developments and are continuing to find ways to increase their profits. Live streaming of sexual abuse for payment is no longer an emerging trend but an established reality. It is of particular concern in the context of emerging markets due to increased Internet adoption there.

Against this background, Dr. Ferenc Bánfi, Director of CEPOL, stated: “It’s time that we stop treating commercial sexual exploitation of children as a side issue. CEPOL is at the forefront of the European Union’s response to this threat by providing law enforcement officers with specific training in this area, including several residential activities and webinars scheduled in 2015, and is also an active member of the EFC. I am convinced that after this week’s workshops and panel discussions moderated by CEPOL, confidence will be strengthened among public and private stakeholders in order to trace and disrupt child sexual offenders”.


Note for editors:

The European Police College (CEPOL) is an EU agency dedicated to providing training and learning opportunities to law enforcement officers on issues vital to the security of the European Union and its citizens. Training covers topics ranging from leadership to law enforcement techniques and from EU cooperation to economic crime. Activities are designed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practice and to contribute to the development of a common European law enforcement culture.

The European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC) brings together key actors from law enforcement, the private sector and civil society in Europe with the common goal of fighting the commercial sexual exploitation of children online. Members of the EFC join forces to take action on the payment and ICT systems that are used to run these illegal operations. Steering group members of the EFC include Europol-EC3, Missing Children Europe, INHOPE, CEPOL, Eurojust, MasterCard, Visa Europe, Microsoft, PayPal, Google and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). The EFC is chaired by Europol-EC3 and its secretariat is hosted at Missing Children Europe.

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