The new Chairman of the EFC,
Head of Strategy of EC3
Having just recently taken over the Chairmanship of the EFC from Troels Oerting, it is my honour and pleasure to introduce this 6th issue of the EFC Newsletter. I hope it will meet your expectations, will bring you up to date on the progress of the various activities under the EFC's programme and on related developments concerning the prevention and fight against child sexual exploitation.
The current programme of the EFC was launched in November 2012 for a 3-year period. That means that the work envisaged as part of this programme should be finalised ultimately in autumn this year. I would like to give a special thanks to the concentrated efforts of the EFC partners and the secretariat for their work in the five work packages that are being conducted within the framework of the EFC, which are now bearing fruit. And with that fruitful prospect, it is time to look ahead and to consider what next actions can be taken to further strengthen the protection of children, the prevention of child abuse and the prosecution of those cases in which we were too late.
The EFC – originally established in 2009 and re-launched in 2012 – has so far been structured on a project basis. A first question on the future organisation of this collaborative effort is whether such a time-bound approach is the most appropriate one in the light of its endeavour to fight a phenomenon that is unfortunately most likely to continue to surface over time. Should a more permanent structure for the EFC and for the organisation of its work be considered to enhance continuity?
Other questions worth reflection are about the content of the programmes the EFC should focus on. What are the dynamics and future trends in child sexual exploitation? What are the technological developments and how are the financial/commercial aspects evolving? How can the European cooperation contribute to a stronger effect worldwide against a threat that is becoming of an increasingly global nature?
Answers to these questions are obviously of relevance for the future work of the EFC. I would like to invite you to keep these questions in mind while reading this newsletter and to share the answers that you may develop with the EFC Secretariat so that we can benefit from your contribution in our orientation to defining and designing the future of the EFC.
|From the 7th-10th April, the second EFC training course on 'Combatting the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online' will be organised within the EFC framework and will take place in CEPOL HQ in Budapest, Hungary.|
The training course aims to facilitate the partnership between civil society, law enforcement and the private sector in improving technical, operational and procedural competences related to the fight against the production and dissemination of child abuse material over the internet for financial gain.
The course will focus on the theoretical aspects of internet fundamentals and investigations. It will also include a workshop focusing on jurisdiction and territoriality led by an expert from the Belgium Ministry of Justice, and it will also illustrate the role NGOs have in the fight against child sexual exploitation online. In addition, the course will enable participants to practice what they have learnt through lab exercises and practical cases. A panel discussion will offer the opportunity for participants to engage in a direct debate with trainers in the view of identifying areas of where cooperation between different stakeholders can be improved in the future.
|As a result of the plenary debate on the 12th February 2015 regarding the fight against child sexual abuse on the internet, the European Parliament had set a Joint Motion on the 9th March 2015 for a Resolution on Child Sexual Abuse Online. The motion highlighted that the serious criminal offences of sexual exploitation of children and child abuse material requires a comprehensive approach covering the investigation of these offences, including the successful prosecution of offenders, the effective protection of child victims and increase prevention activities.|
Therefore, in order to prevent re-victimization through the distribution and availability of child abuse material, the motion asks that Member States law enforcement authorities and Europol are provided with the necessary funds, human resources, investigative powers and technical capabilities to effectively pursue, investigate and prosecute offenders. These developments should include appropriate training for law enforcement and the judiciary in order to build new high-tech capabilities needed to address new challenges including those on the 'dark net'.
There has been great concern over the latest trends of commercial sexual exploitation of children online, including new means of distribution and transaction, most notably through the Deep Web and Darknet. In addition, the vast expansion of the phenomenon of live streaming of abuse for payment has become a major concern for those involved in combating commercial sexual exploitation of children online. The motion calls on the European Commission and Member States to engage with representatives of alternative payment systems in order to identify opportunities for better cooperation with law enforcement authorities, including common training on better identification of payment processes linked to the commercial distribution of child abuse material.
The motion also welcomes the work of the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC), which is chaired by EC3 and coordinated by Missing Children Europe. The European Parliament further calls for an effective partnership approach and information exchange between law enforcement authorities, the judiciary, the ICT industry, internet service providers, internet host providers, social media companies, the banking sector and NGOs, with a view of ensuring that the rights and protection of children online are safeguarded.
To see the full Joint Motion for a Resolution on Child Sexual Abuse Online, please click here.
|MasterCard has always shown a strong commitment to Combatting Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online by participating in the EFC, the US Financial Coalition and Asia Pacific Financial Coalition against child pornography. What have you learned from your experience in the latter two coalitions which would allow the EFC to continue to focus its resources on obtaining tangible results?||MasterCard has learned that a close collaboration with law enforcement and the development of a systematic clearinghouse process (which collects and distributes information between the key partners) is key in addressing the commercial sale of child exploitation in a meaningful legal way.||Taking into account of the latest findings of the EFC 2014 Strategic Assessment in highlighting the developing trends of commercial sexual exploitation of children online, what efforts is MasterCard undertaking to protect their services from being misused and in keeping up-to-date in the dynamic area of payment systems?||MasterCard will continue to follow its current process which was established as a result of the FCACP's (Financial Coalition against Child Pornography) efforts. Those consisted in the development of a clearinghouse portal that follows the same guidelines as the CyberTipline. We will also continue to refer any such cases to the clearinghouse for law enforcement, so it can take action and possibly instruct MasterCard to act on the related merchant or associated acquiring institution.||What does MasterCard think is the added value of public-private partnership in Combatting Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online with the EFC? What do you hope for the future of the EFC?||MasterCard brings added value as one of the leading companies in the electronic payments industry and by being a key partner for the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the development of a legally meaningful process to eradicate the commercial sale of child pornography.|
EFC Steering Group
The sixth EFC Steering Group (SG) meeting was held in Brussels on 11th December 2014. The SG members leading the work of the EFC discussed the activities and performance of each Work Package (WP) and further outlined the remaining tasks ahead.
Work Package 1 (WP1) – Operations
WP1 members met in Brussels in January 2015 in order to review the actions undertaken by the operational group in 2014. During the meeting, WP1 members discussed the development of a Guideline for law enforcement agencies for the performance of test purchases. The guideline will focus on the operational, technical and legislative aspects of conducting a test purchase.
Work Package 2 (WP2) - Strategic Analysis and Reporting
WP2 members have published the Second EFC Strategic Assessment in late February 2015, which and can also be found on the EFC website. The findings of the report will be presented on the occasion of the Second EFC Awareness Raising Event in June 2015.
Work Package 3 (WP3) - Private Sector Support and Cooperation
A number of WP3 conference calls have taken place in the latter half of 2014 to discuss and further develop this WPs deliverables. A policy analysis is to be included in the Guidelines for Internet Service Providers which is currently being developed by an external expert, whilst the Contractual Terms and References for Financial and Internet Service is in its research phase. Additionally, the Best Practice Guide for Payment Service Providers is also being updated to include new alternative payment systems.
Work Package 4 (WP4) - Training
The process of the organisation of the next WP4 training session for April 2015 is underway. The WP4 members have met in The Hague in December 2014 at the Europol HQ to discuss the possible venue options in relation to available facilities and equipment, the course curriculum, training schedule and target audience. Since then a number of ad-hoc conferences calls have taken place between WP4 members. A preparatory meeting to discuss the final details of the session and will take place in Brussels on Friday 27th March 2015.
Work Package 5 (WP5) – External Relations and Awareness
In December 2014, a conference call took place with WP5 members who reviewed the concept note for the Second EFC Awareness Raising Event due to take place in June 2015. The EFC secretariat has undertaken outreach activities in the view of identifying MEPs that would be willing to support and host the event on behalf of the EFC in the European Parliament. This conference will represent the occasion to highlight the activities of the EFC, its achievements, the current trends and the extent of commercial sexual exploitation of children online by outlining the key findings of the 2015 EFC Strategic Assessment.
|On behalf of the EFC members and the Secretariat, we wish to thank Troels Oerting for his leadership in the EFC for the last two years and we wish him good luck in his future endevours. The EFC would like to welcome Oliver Burgersdijk as the new chairmen for the EFC and we look forward to the next few months in working together in order to achieve the EFC deliverables and to secure its future.|
» From the 24th-26th February 2015, the Annual G2 Merchant Risk Summit was held in London, UK. The summit main focus was on the rapid transformations that are taking place in the payments industry in regards to managing risk and compliance. This year's agenda had presented best practices, notable industry experts and exclusive first-person case studies. The EFC Secretariat had also presented the findings of the 2015 Strategic Assessment, as well as informed the audience of the EFC WP4 Second Training Course for law enforcement and private sector on 'Combatting Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online'. Other members of the EFC Steering Group, such as Visa and MasterCard, had also spoke at the summit. Click here for more information.
» The NGO Coalition 'Together against Sexual Exploitation of Children', which is a collaborative project between Missing Children Europe, ECPAT and eNACSO, aims to identify the manner in which the 27 EU Member States, bound by Directive 2011/93/EU on the fight against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children and Child Pornography, have been transposing its provisions. On Friday 24th April, the coalition members will be hosting a Workshop in Brussels, focusing on the topics of 'Grooming', 'Disqualification & Screening' and 'Child Friendly Justice' within the context of the Directive and Member States. To participate in the Workshop, please register here by Friday 17th April, 2015.
» Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, President of Missing Children Europe & UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, had delivered a speech on the occasion of 'Safer Internet Day' on 10th February 2015. Ms. Boer-Buquicchio, together with other UN representatives, called on States and the IT industry to tackle online child sexual abuse and exploitation, while protecting the right to freedom of expression of children. The speech highlighted that the rapid development of technology brings not only a great opportunity for children but also brings risks and dangers. The production and proliferation of child abuse material and exploitive activities such as 'live streaming', are becoming more accessible and convenient for offenders. Therefore, on a global scale, states, industry and civil society must support each other in partnership by creating a comprehensive legal framework ensuring the prevention and eradication of abuse and exploitation of children online; by developing a child-friendly detection and reporting mechanisms for reporting abuse; enhancing the process of identifying both victims and offenders, as well as the process of removing child abuse material online. States should also ensure the use of transnational cooperation mechanisms for investigation and prosecution of offenders.
» On March 10th 2015, The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) had released their research into 'Youth Produced Sexual Content', which is defined as "…nude or semi-nude images or videos produced by a young person engaging in erotic or sexual activity and intentionally shared by any electronic means". The study was sponsored by Microsoft and was carried out over a three-month period between September and November 2014. The study reports that a total of 3,803 images and video across 230 different websites were identified, 82.5% of these featured children and young people aged 16-20, whilst 17.5% featured children 15 years or younger. It was found that 90% of all images and videos of had been harvested from their original location and shared in other spaces. To read the full report, please click here.
» Europol has stepped-up its efforts to identify victims of child abuse by hosting a Victim Identification Taskforce (VIDTF) at the request of EU Member States and other partners in order to harness international cooperation in a new way. Therefore, over a 12 day period, from 3rd-14th November 2014, experts in victim identification from 11 law enforcement agencies from 9 different countries had participated in the taskforce, along with Interpol – who hosts the International Sexual Image Database (ICSE – DB). Due to this collaboration and use of Europol's resources, it enabled the development of 240 new collections of CAM that share clues that could localize investigations and also lead to the identification of victims. As a result of their work, the VIFTF have already identified a number of children in Germany and Australia, whilst other investigations have advanced significantly due to investigators capitalizing on that work. For more information, please click here.
» For Safer Internet Day, the EFC Steering Group member INHOPE, had released a video for their campaign on 'Report it, don't ignore it'. Computers and the internet are arguably some of the world's greatest inventions: the power at your fingertips to learn, play, connect, interact, create and share. Unfortunately, there is a flip side to everything. Cybercrime, illegal content, including the worst in the area: online child sexual abuse. Child victims need protection, whilst offenders need to be brought to justice. INHOPE's campaign aims to bring awareness to the public on a national level that they are not powerless and can report suspected child sexual abuse material online to INHOPE's member hotlines: click here.
» Coinciding with the 15th anniversary of its founding, INHOPE held its second annual members meeting in the World Heritage City of Dubrovnik from 11th-13th November 2014. Hosted by the Croatian Center for Missing and Exploited Children (CNZD), the three-day conference was attended by delegations from 34 countries. Deputy Prime Minister, Milanka Opačić had opened the event and highlighted Croatia's efforts in fighting online child sexual exploitation. With a regional focus on tackling child sex trafficking, delegates shared experiences, latest developments and best common practices. Partners and high-level speakers from the OSCE, Facebook, Insafe, the US Marshals, NCMEC and the German BKA all demonstrated that no one can work in isolation and cooperation is essential when it comes to child online protection.
» To mark the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 20th November 2014, GSMA has formed a partnership with Child Helplines International (CHI) in order to protect young people and safeguard their rights. GSMA and CHI had signed an agreement that established a plan for promoting child helplines across the globe, including measures to strengthen relationships between national mobile operators and their in-country helplines, and foster collaboration on issues such as safer internet for children.
» In November 2014, the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) was joined by Ambassador Maura Harty as President and CEO. Ambassador Harty was responsible for the creation of the U.S. Department of State's Office of Children's Issues (OCI) to address the challenges of intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction. Since its inception, OCI has helped secure the return of hundreds of abducted American citizen children and has facilitated countless intercountry adoptions. Ambassador Harty's international expertise, and demonstrated passion for child protection issues, will be a tremendous asset to ICMEC's global efforts and the EFC would kindly like to welcome Ambassador Hardy in her new role.
» A new Global Taskforce to end Child Sex Tourism was launched on 4th November 2014 in London, UK. The aim of the Taskforce is to tackle the rapid acceleration of sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. The group is made up of 8 leaders from the travel industry, the UN, national governments and NGOs, under the leadership of Dr. Maalla M'jid, the Former Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. Included in this leadership, is Milena Grillo, an ECPAT representative and Executive Director of Fundación Paniamor, Costa Rica, along with Ernie Allen, the Former President and CEO of ICMEC USA. The main emphasis of the taskforce is to re-think the different approaches to this form of crime, which has so far, outpaced every attempt to prevent it due to its transnational nature. The Taskforce will oversee the ECPAT International-initiated Global Study on the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism, funded by the Dutch Government. The global study will involve relevant stakeholders on an international, regional and national level, and aims to provide an updated picture of sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. The study's main objective is to provide a set of concrete recommendations to improve government, NGO and private-sector responses to protect children. For more information, please click here.
|This project has been funded with the support of the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Commission, Directorate-General Home Affairs. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.|
Text: Oliver Burgersdijk, Maud de Boer Buquicchio, Sarah Jane Mellor, Delphine Moralis,
Gail Rego, Fernando Ruiz, Bindu Sharma, Tania Anguelova, Emma Rainey, Philipp Bruechert
Proofreading: Delphine Moralis
Graphic Design: Microweb
Responsible editor: Delphine Moralis
Contact: EFC Secretariat - rue de l'industrie 10, 1000 Brussels
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