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Brussels, 30 September 2014
Second Ministerial Conference of the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online
The Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online has been up and running since 2012. Concrete goals have been set and additional countries have joined forces, but the fight to eradicate the online exploitation of children is far from complete.
At the invitation of EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström and US Attorney General Eric Holder, global decision-makers are meeting in Washington for the second ministerial conference of the Global Alliance (30 September).
Ministers and representatives from participating countries, experts from law enforcement authorities, the private sector, victim advocacy groups and frontline organisations will assess how to expand the fight against global proliferation of child sexual abuse online.
"The threat to young people posed by online sex predators is on the rise. Challenges are constantly evolving. Every time a picture of an abused child is shown that child is being abused, over and over again. The global alliance shows our collective willingness to fight this hideous crime, something we can only do by working together. Our collective promises must become a reality", said Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström.
"Together, thanks to the hard work of the Global Alliance countries, this important, life-changing work has enabled us to intervene to rescue numerous child victims suffering at the hands of abusers; to arrest and prosecute those who did them harm; and to begin the long process of healing for each one of these survivors,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. "I have no doubt that this work will continue – and be amplified – by the work we’re discussing today."
Child sexual abuse online is a crime that knows no borders. Child abuse images circulate easily across jurisdictions and perpetuate victimisation of children whose abuse is depicted and disclosed time and again. Child pornography offenders are increasingly operating in international online groups that use sophisticated technologies to frustrate the efforts of law enforcement who investigate their crimes. Different laws and policies across jurisdictions represent a challenge for law enforcement.
This is why international cooperation is crucial and why commitments under the Global Alliance aim to improve victim identification, prosecute perpetrators more successfully, increase awareness and reduce the number of child sexual abuse images available online.
Progress achieved and future potential actions under the Global Alliance will be discussed at the conference. A first report summarising the commitments that participating countries have undertaken in order to reach the four political targets has already been issued.
At the conference the Commission will also hand-over the secretariat and presidency tasks of the Global Alliance to the US authorities.
On 5 December 2012, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström together with US Attorney General Eric Holder launched a Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online (IP/12/1308 and MEMO/12/937).
From 48 countries initially, the Global Alliance currently consists of 54 countries: the 28 EU Member States, Albania, Armenia, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Georgia, Ghana, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, South Korea, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Serbia, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and United States.
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