The second #WePROTECT summit has ended with a declaration calling for a ‘model national response’ to prevent and tackle child exploitation. Backed by Europol, the model national response outlines best practices for countries developing their national capacity and capabilities needed to combat this crime.
Building upon the success of the inaugural summit in London in December 2014, representatives from 51 governments, law enforcement, non-profit sector and industry convened in Abu-Dhabi on 16-17 November to agree on a range of actions to guide responses to online child sexual exploitation offences.
Signatories of the 2015 Statement of Action agreed to develop a coordinated multi-stakeholder national response that will ensure:
- The highest level of national response to online child sexual exploitation, including preventing wider child sexual exploitation and abuse;
- Effective prevention programmes, investigations and prosecutions, safeguarding of victims and offender management;
- Appropriate support services for children and young people;
- Legislation or policies that will support technology companies’ efforts to remove child sexual abuse material from the internet, including through the development of technological solutions;
- Greater awareness and understanding amongst the public and professionals working with children.
Mr Fernando Ruiz, Head of Operations at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), said: “We are at a watershed moment in facing up to the scale of online child sexual exploitation. The proliferation of this crime and the challenges presented by its online nature mean that we need sophisticated international response to stop the abuse. To achieve this, all countries need first to build up their national response to this crime. Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre will continue to provide its support to all EU Member States and Third Partners in identifying and protecting the victims and bringing the perpetrators of this abuse to justice.”
EC3’s team of specialists and analysts (Focal Point Twins) provides assistance and expertise in combating all forms of criminal online behaviour against children, such as distribution of child abuse material through all kinds of online environments, grooming and online solicitation, sexual extortion as well as web live streaming of abuse. FP Twins is currently developing a victim identification function aimed at contributing to the global effort in this field.