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23 May 2007 - Media release

Norway pledges support to INTERPOL G8 Child Abuse Image Database

LYON, France – Norway has committed EUR 300,000 over the next two years to support the development of the G8 International Child Sexual Exploitation Image (ICSE) database at the INTERPOL General Secretariat.

The initiative will give national investigators direct access to INTERPOL’s existing Child Abuse Image Database, which contains more than 500,000 images of up to 20,000 victims, as well as improved access to information contained in databases held by police in other countries.

Technology developed in support of the project includes specialist image recognition and comparison software to identify visual clues such as recurring backgrounds, and also alert investigators if an image is already known, potentially saving hundreds of hours of police time.

Norway’s contribution towards the implementation of the initiative, which has a total estimated cost of EUR 3.2 million, follows discussions between INTERPOL, Minister of Justice Knut Storberget and National Police Commissioner Ingelin Killengreen.

The ISCE database will be maintained by INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Human Beings unit, which is currently headed by Kristin Kvigne, Assistant Chief of Police of the Norwegian National Police directorate.

'Combating all forms of child abuse is a priority for law enforcement, which is why we are pleased to support this initiative, not only in financial terms but also in assigning an officer to Lyon,' said Commissioner Killengreen.

'Norway’s pledge of such a significant sum towards the creation of this vital investigative tool clearly underlines the importance of the international effort required to protect children from sexual abuse and to bring the perpetrators to justice,' said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Since the G8’s endorsement of the project in 2005, more than EUR 1.25 million has already been donated by five of the G8 countries: Canada, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States.

'Although only just under half of the money required for this project is in place, INTERPOL will continue to push ahead with its implementation and to seek additional funding from all of our member countries and from private donors,' added Mr Noble.

'The results which are and will be achieved by law enforcement through this initiative are too significant for any kind of delay. Each image added and identified via the database is a potential child sexual abuse victim rescued and perpetrator apprehended.'

Due to the nature of the images contained in the database, security is a key factor in the implementation of the project. Authorised users will only be granted access to the database in line with strict procedures, including biometric security measures.