A cooperation agreement to fight online child abuse and make the Internet safer for minors was signed today by the Council of Europe and the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT).
Welcoming the move,Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said: “The exploitation and abuse of children is a global problem requiring global solutions. The problem is increasing and as Internet connectivity improves we expect the volume of child abuse images circulating to grow quickly.
“The Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention and its Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse lead the way in setting the standard and it is excellent that the Virtual Global Taskforce will now take this up in its work to halt child online sexual abuse worldwide.
The VGT includes the Australian Federal Police, Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre of the United Kingdom, Europol, INTERPOL, Italian Postal and Communication Police Service, National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre – part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the New Zealand Police, the Ministry of Interior for the United Arab Emirates, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as private sector partners.
Since it began in 2003, the VGT has helped to rescue hundreds of children from sexual abuse, carrying out targetted law enforcement operations and tracking down hundreds of child sex offenders worldwide.
Neil Gaughan, the VGT chair, said his organisation would use the Council of Europe conventions to “enhance legislation globally.”