News: International online child protection conference opens
Release Date: Thursday, December 02 2010, 04:57 PM
Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor and AFP Commissioner Tony Negus officially opened the international Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) Conference in Sydney today.
The conference brings together domestic and international law enforcement agencies, government and non-government organisations (NGOs), internet service providers, academia and other relevant industry partners to share ideas on the prevention of online child sexual exploitation.
The AFP is hosting the two-day conference as the current VGT Chair and Secretariat. This is the first time the conference has been held in Australia.
Throughout the day, conference delegates attended workshops and discussed a variety of topics, including the key challenges faced when combating online child sexual exploitation.
A panel session facilitated by Geoffrey Robertson QC was the focus of the day’s events, titled Improving International Collaboration in Protecting Children Globally.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Close Operations Support Michael Phelan was a member on the panel, along with representatives from international law enforcement agencies, social networking organisations, Telstra, media organisations, NGOs and the judicial sector. The panelists addressed a hypothetical scenario relating to global online protection of children.
Another panel discussion allowed delegates to explore issues surrounding the future of a Microsoft-developed Child Exploitation Tracking System, a software tool that assists in managing and linking investigations across jurisdictions related to child protection.
The US Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement provided a presentation on the importance of international legislation and increasing the awareness of the judicial sector.
Discussions within the digital social networking sphere highlighted the importance of industry and law enforcement working together to protect children online, with Yahoo Australia providing their perspective.
Delegates were also offered an insight into online social networking and how offenders are using the internet to exploit and groom children. A victim of online grooming shared her confronting experience story with attendees.
The VGT was established in 2003 to combat the increasingly prevalent crime of online child sexual exploitation.
Visit for more information on the VGT website.