On 27 January 2016, Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) hosted at its headquarters the first meeting of the EFC Programme under its chairmanship. Initially launched in 2012 as a 3-year project, the European Financial Coalition against the commercial sexual exploitation of children online has been transformed since October 2015 into a long-term platform of collaboration between law enforcement and key partners in the financial and Internet technology – the EFC Programme, hosted and chaired by EC3.
Law enforcement officers and representatives from the private sector and non-governmental organisations gathered in The Hague to take stock of the progress achieved by EFC under the management of the Missing Children Europe initiative. This includes awareness-raising activities targeted towards stakeholders from the public and private sector, trainings for practitioners in law enforcement and payment system providers and the publication of strategic analysis reports and practice guides.
In this meeting the options for the future of the EFC within the new programme structure were also discussed as well as some of the initiatives already planned. Building on the experiences and results from the cooperation so far, the continuation of periodic assessments of the evolving abuse of payment instruments was deemed valuable. The possibilities for a prevention campaign against various form of sexual extortion were also considered as well as methods for the detection of suspicious patterns in financial transactions.
The next EFC meeting on the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children online will take place in September 2016.