News: International online child protection conference closes
Release Date: Friday, December 03 2010, 05:28 PM
The need to strengthen international laws to help combat cyber crime was discussed during the final day of the Virtual Global Taskforce Conference (VGT) in Sydney today.
The AFP in conjunction with the Virtual Global Taskforce hosted the two-day conference which brought together domestic and international law enforcement agencies, government and non-government organisations, internet service providers, academia and other relevant industry partners to share ideas on the prevention of online child sexual exploitation.
The effects of exposure to child abuse material on law enforcement officers was examined during the main workshop for the day and was led by AFP Child Protection Operations psychologist Karen Proctor, Federal Agent Matthew Green, AFP Wellbeing Services National Coordinator Tony Cotton and Italian Postal and Communications Police Service Dr Diego Buso.
In another session, the VGT International Legal Governance panel identified the need to implement legislative strategies for the development of global legal frameworks on cybercrime.
Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section Andrew Oosterbaan from the US Department of Justice, National Member for Italy at Eurojust Francesco Lo Voi and Attorney-General's Department representative Catherine Smith. The panel discussed challenges facing international law enforcement agencies specifically in the development of an international legal framework based on the boundaries of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.
Professor Sohail Inayatullah from the University of the Sunshine Coast challenged delegates on the future of policing in a rapidly changing digital environment. He provided a number of scenarios regarding the future of child safety online to highlight the challenges currently being faced by international law enforcement agencies.
Non-government organisations and law enforcement representatives from South-East Asia presented outcomes from a study into child sex tourism in Cambodia and Thailand, while government officials from the United Arab Emirates discussed their approach to online child safety.
AFP National Coordinator Crime Prevention Jenny Cartwright led a workshop on preventing online child exploitation through education. Academic experts, industry and non-government representatives formed part of this panel and discussed the latest research on cyber bulling and preventative strategies.
At the conclusion of the conference, the eight VGT senior board members, including VGT Chair and AFP National Manager of High Tech Crime Operations Neil Gaughan, emphasised the importance of ongoing international collaboration between public, private and voluntary sectors in the fight against online child sexual abuse.
The VGT partner agencies include the AFP, UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Italian Postal and Communication Police Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Interpol, Ministry of Interior for the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand Police.
The AFP became the VGT Chair and Secretariat for a three-year period in December last year. The VGT was established in 2003 to combat the increasing prevalence of online child sexual exploitation.