Mats Odell, Financial Coalition: “Technical developments give hope”

Mats Odell, Financial Coalition: “Technical developments give hope”
11 April, 2018 Guest Writer

Part five in “The cog-wheel” article series from the NetClean Report 2017. The series consists of interviews with representatives from different parts of society, chosen to represent their sector and highlight the work that their part, their “cog”, is doing to tackle child sexual abuse. 

“Technical developments give hope”

By Mats Odell, Chairman, The Swedish Financial Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation of Children.

Trafficking, which includes child sexual abuse material, is the world’s third largest and most profitable organised crime. Financial coalitions across the world have however managed to stop the use of banks and cards to ensure that the ability to pay for this crime through legitimate transaction channels has in the main ceased. It has been a very successful way to counter-attack this type of organised crime.

We are really proud of the impact we are making to help stop the trade in child sexual abuse material. The Financial Coalition has also shown that collaborations between civil society, private and public bodies can prevent this type of crime.

GREAT SUPPORT

The Swedish Financial Coalition has made a significant impact in fighting this crime as it has received great support and involvement from the entire banking sector, credit card businesses, and government departments. The Financial Coalition is also a good example of a very successful collaboration between government departments, private industry and the not-for-profit/NGO sector. Examples of organisations working together within the Swedish Financial Coalition are: The Police (The National Operative Department); the Economic Crime Authority; the Ministry of Justice; the Finance Inspectorate; popular movements such as ECPAT Sweden; and a number of businesses from the private sector.

CRYPTO CURRENCIES ARE A CHALLENGE

Although transactions have ceased within legitimate transaction channels the trade continues to flow elsewhere. Both perpetrators and criminal organisations have worked to find new ways to exchange goods and currency. To combat this the Financial Coalition works with its members and universities to uncover trade happening on the darknet and other places where it is acceptable to use bitcoin and other crypto currencies.

TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENTS GIVE HOPE

As before, a key challenge is the sheer number of people who look for and consume child sexual abuse material. However, the fact that the dissemination of material happens online means that it can be fought and tracked with the help of technology. New technological developments give us hope that we will be able to halt this type of crime.

CIVIL SOCIETY CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE

We are really proud of the impact we are making to help stop the trade in child sexual abuse material. The Financial Coalition has also shown that collaborations between civil society, private and public bodies can prevent this type of crime. We have proven that society as a whole, in addition to government departments and official legislation, can make a real difference.

THE SWEDISH FINANCIAL COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN

The Financial Coalition works to stop child sexual abuse by utilising financial institutions. The unique collaboration between government departments, the private sector and the not-for-profit/NGO sector has stopped all trade of child sexual abuse material using legitimate transaction channels.