INHOPE Hotline Analysts in second EFC Training Session to Improve Competences in the Fight against Online Child Sexual Abuse

07 APRIL 2015

Hosted by the European Police College (CEPOL) in Budapest between the 7th-10th of April, this year's EFC training session aims at empowering law enforcement authorities, private companies and NGOs to counteract the production and dissemination of child sexual abuse material on the internet for financial again. The training takes place in the context of the European Financial Coalition against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC), a project chaired by Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and coordinated by Missing Children Europe. This year's training session will be led by CEPOL, EC3 and MasterCard.

Budapest, 7 April 2015: This week, a major milestone will be reached in the fight against the production and dissemination of child sexual abuse material over the internet for financial gain. Over the 3 day course led by the European Police College (CEPOL), Europol's Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and MasterCard, over 40 participants representing law enforcement, the private sector and NGO Hotlines from the INHOPE Network, will acquire the technical, operational and procedural competences to detect and prevent the production and dissemination of commercial child sexual abuse material online.

Through a combination of presentations on various methods of investigation and practical workshops participants will become acquainted with relevant internet investigation techniques, act against the use of legitimate payment systems to trade child sexual abuse material and gain knowledge on how to follow and manage criminal compliance procedures. Particular focus will also be placed on how to establish and strengthen public-private partnerships in enhancing the sharing of knowledge and sharpening of (tracing) skills in preventing the misuse of financial services for commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Olivier Burgersdijk EFC-Chairman and Head of Strategy of EC3 said "Having practitioners from various relevant partners attending the EFC training will hopefully improve the prevention of and protection against the abuse of payment systems for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. In particular, the combination of participants from different sectors, including law enforcement and financial services, is expected to contribute to a better mutual understanding of how their roles complement each other. As such, it can stimulate successful multi-disciplinary cooperation and lead to even better results."

In February, the EFC published a strategic assessment of commercial sexual exploitation of children online which found that criminals that sexually exploit children online are becoming more entrepreneurial with technological developments and are continuing to find ways to increase their profits. Live streaming of sexual abuse for payment is no longer an emerging trend but an established reality. It is of particular concern in the context of emerging markets due to increased internet adoption there.

Against this background, Dr. Ferenc Bánfi, Director of CEPOL, stated: "It's time that we stop treating commercial sexual exploitation of children as a side issue. CEPOL is at the forefront of the European Union's response to this threat by providing law enforcement officers with specific training in this area, including several residential activities and webinars scheduled in 2015, and is also an active member of the EFC. I am convinced that after this week's workshops and panel discussions moderated by CEPOL, confidence will be strengthened among public and private stakeholders in order to trace and disrupt child sexual offenders."


INHOPE is an active, collaborative and influential network of 51 hotlines in 45 countries worldwide, committed to stamping out child sexual abuse from the Internet.

INHOPE was founded in 1999 under the European Commission Safer Internet Programme.

INHOPE Hotlines offer the public a way of anonymously reporting Internet material including child sexual abuse material they suspect to be illegal.

INHOPE members operate a public hotline to receive complaints about apparent illegal content, they then assess the content in accordance with their national laws and if they consider it to be illegal they trace the material to a hosting country. If the content is illegal in the hosting country then the national Hotline takes steps to have the material ‘taken down’ in consultation with their law enforcement partners.

In the first half of 2014:

170 analysts across the INHOPE network processed 587,674 reports of illegal content.

39,144 reports were assessed to contain unique URLs of child sexual abuse material, a 32% increase compared with the last six months of 2013.

81% child victims were female. 6% child victims were infants.

In Europe, 98% was reported to law enforcement within a day. 91% was removed from the Internet within three days.

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