EU, US in 'global alliance' to hit web child sex

December 5, 2012
US Attorney General Eric Holder (L) and EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem give a press conference in Brussels. The 27-nation European Union, the United States and a score of other countries on Wednesday launched a "global alliance" to stamp out trade in online images and videos of child sexual abuse.

The 27-nation European Union, the United States and a score of other countries on Wednesday launched a "global alliance" to stamp out trade in online images and videos of child sexual abuse.

"Child sexual abuse online is a hideous crime and it is also a hidden crime, often perpetrated in the darkest corners of the web," the EU's home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said at a joint news conference with US Attorney General Eric Holder.

"It is very hard and painful to talk about it. It is such a horrible thing that sometimes we just want to close our eyes in front of it," she said.

The launch follows an agreement a year ago between Holder and Malmstroem to try to place the fight against the "disgusting crimes" of online child abuse high on the global agenda.

She said images of helpless children being tortured and raped were increasingly circulating on the web, with an estimated one million such images available online and 50,000 new pictures uploaded every year.

"This is why we are here today: to say loud and clear that we are serious about combating child online," she said.

"When these images are circulated online, they can live on forever. Our responsibility is to protect children wherever they live and to bring to justice wherever they operate. The only way to achieve this is to team up for more intensive and better coordinated action worldwide", said Malmstroem.

Holder said the initiative "will strengthen our mutual resources to bring more perpetrators to justice, identify more victims of , and ensure that they receive our help and support,"

Along with the 27 EU members and the US, the members of the Alliance include Albania, Australia, Cambodia, Croatia, Georgia, Ghana, Japan, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, , Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

One of the aims of the alliance is to establish dedicated law enforcement units for these crimes in all countries and make it easier to initiate joint cross-border police investigations.

Countries also committed to making sure that the Interpol international database of material grows by 10 percent annually.

Explore further: Parents blame child sex abuse victims more if perpetrator is another youth, research shows

Related Stories

EU Commission wants Cyber Crime Center

March 28, 2012

(AP) -- The European Commission wants to set up a special center to deal with cyber crime to protect citizens against illegal online activities.

Australia warns of 'bespoke' online child sex abuse

May 17, 2012

Australian police warned Thursday that paedophiles were using Internet live-streaming sites to order "bespoke" child sex crimes for real-time viewing, from countries including the Philippines.

New Zealand smashes global child pornography ring

May 22, 2012

A global network that used social networking sites such as Facebook to distribute child pornography has been smashed after a tip-off from New Zealand authorities, officials said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

US ends bulk collection of phone data

November 30, 2015

The US government has halted its controversial program to collect vast troves of information from Americans' phone calls, a move prompted by the revelations of former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

How can people safely take control from a self-driving car?

November 30, 2015

New cars that can steer and brake themselves risk lulling people in the driver's seat into a false sense of security—and even to sleep. One way to keep people alert may be providing distractions that are now illegal.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.