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18 November 2015

Rescuing online child sexual abuse victims spotlighted at INTERPOL meeting

LYON, France – Identifying victims of online child sexual abuse and their attackers is the focus of an INTERPOL workshop bringing together specialists from around the world.

With 18 November marking the 1st European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, the meeting will also provide an overview of global efforts in combating these crimes.

The three-day (18 – 20 November) INTERPOL Specialists Group on Crimes Against Children meeting will enable investigators and victim identification experts to directly share information about ongoing enquiries to identify potential links.

Increased use of INTERPOL’s Green Notices to provide warnings and intelligence about convicted child sex offenders who are likely to repeat these crimes in other countries is also on the agenda.

Some 200 participants from more than 60 countries and the private sector will also hear case studies of successful investigations, including enquiries conducted on the Darknet, in addition to addressing topics including sex offender management and abuse material analysis.

“Today’s interconnected world means that abusers can share these horrific images with anyone, anywhere at the touch of a button,” said Bob Shilling, INTERPOL’s Crimes Against Children unit coordinator.

“But it is vital to remember that every single image is a snapshot of a crime scene showing evidence of the actual physical abuse of a child.

“These specialist working group meetings are an important part of the investigative process and INTERPOL will continue to support all efforts in identifying victims and bringing the perpetrators to justice,” added Mr Shilling.

Information exchanged via INTERPOL’s network of specialist officers in 48 countries around the world and Europol via the International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database has already led to the identification of some 7,800 victims - an average of seven identifications per day - and the arrest of more than 3,800 offenders.

Recent examples include the identification and rescue of three-year-old boy in Europe who had been raped by his father since the age of one. The father had also been selling the material to other paedophiles.

Just 10 hours after one country uploaded abuse images to the ICSE database and issued an alert via the INTERPOL network, a man was arrested on the other side of the world. Officers searching his house found clothing which had been worn by the victim during the abuse, as well as two toys seen in the background.

The working group meeting follows the second #WePROTECT summit where delegates were updated recent on the further rollout of the Baseline project. Through this initiative INTERPOL can share file signatures with private entities to empower industry and network administrators to recognize, report and remove child abuse material from their networks.

Infographics

INTERPOL's International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database

8 steps to identifying victims of child sexual abuse