16th Europol Training course on ‘Combating the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children on the Internet’

13 October 2015
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The 16th Europol training course on 'Combating the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children on the Internet' (COSEC), held in Selm, Germany, at the LAFP-NRW Police Academy, concluded on 13 October 2015.

This ten-day course provided training for 63 representatives from EU Member States, non-EU States (Australia, Canada, Norway, Colombia, New Zealand, Turkey, Serbia. Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Interpol. Principally aimed at law enforcement investigators the course was also attended by a number of prosecutors from the Member States.  The training was delivered by police trainers from Europol, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and one from Ireland on behalf of INHOPE all of whom have extensive knowledge and experience in investigating and combating the sexual abuse of children online. Guest speakers were invited from Interpol, Lucy Faithful Foundation, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and Mastercard.

The training follows the European Cybercrime Centre's (EC3) approach to cybercrime and its training ethos. The approach is collegial, with expert trainers and investigators working in the field of child sexual exploitation coming together to network and exchange experiences. The main objective of this annual course is to enhance the expertise of those working in this crime area in the EU and beyond, so that they are better able to investigate and dismantle child sex offender networks on the Internet, with the rights and safety of the children involved being a priority. This year the course was extended and provided extra victim identification training to investigators.

In addition to lectures, ranging from perpetrator psychology and the latest online investigation techniques to international cooperation, the course programme included a wide range of hands-on exercises with the intention of aligning law enforcement investigation standards.

Since the first course took place in 2000, this highly respected Europol course has provided expert training to approximately 730 law enforcement officers and members of the judiciary from EU Member States and from countries around the world.