Only six countries comprehensively address online child sexual abuse

Only six countries comprehensively address online child sexual abuse
1 March, 2019 NetClean

Only six countries comprehensively address online child sexual abuse

In a recent interview conducted at the #skillnadpåriktigt conference, Björn Sellström from INTERPOL mentioned that only six countries comprehensively address online child sexual abuse.

In a brief off-camera follow-up, we asked Sellström, who works for the Crimes against Children Unit at INTERPOL, to elaborate on the six countries that are most invested in working against child sexual abuse crime, and what it is about their comprehensive law enforcement work that makes them stand out.

In no particular order Sellström mentioned England, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands and their work on all fronts:

  • Actively working with Victim ID.
  • Addressing the challenge of travelling child sex offenders.
  • Conducting online monitoring.
  • Actively working with intelligence and covert investigations.
  • Collaboration with the private industry with the aim to develop new software.
  • Actively engaging in international law enforcement trainings.

“There is tremendous will and competence in other countries too, but language barriers are a problem.”

“This isn’t to say that there aren’t many other countries that do great work within many of these areas”, says Sellström. “But it is only these six countries that go the extra mile within all of them.”

Why these six countries?

“I don’t know the answer to that. But if I were to speculate, I would say that political will and resources are two key factors. I think that language may be another. Five out of these six nations conduct their police work in English, and the sixth, the Netherlands has a high level of English and a lot of political will to support their work.

“This means it is easier for these countries to collaborate with each other, and it is easier for them to communicate with other countries as well. There is tremendous will and competence in other countries too, but language barriers are a problem.

“These countries are also leading in developing much of the software that is used in investigations into this crime. Naturally it is developed in English, with the consequence that police forces from other countries might not feel able to contribute to shared databases etc. They just don’t have the language with which to do it.

“As I said, this is just speculation. What I do know is that these six countries do a great job on working with these issues, and they deserve credit for it. My hope is that many more countries will follow soon.”

View the interview with Björn Sellström at the #skillnadpåriktigt conference in Sweden 2018: