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Council of Europe and Virtual Global Taskforce join forces to combat child online sexual abuse worlwide

Council of Europe and Virtual Global Taskforce join forces to combat child online sexual abuse worlwide

Strasbourg, November 25, 2011 NOA/R.Bulku – The Council of Europe and the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) have signed a cooperation agreement to fight online child abuse and make the Internet safer for children, on the occasion of the annual Council of Europe cybercrime conference and the 10th anniversary of the Budapest Convention. Welcoming the move, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said: “Every day we hear a new story of children becoming pray to abusers online. With no national borders to the Internet, it is obvious that countries must align to stop these criminals. The Council of Europe's Cybercrime Convention and its Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse lead the way in setting the standard, and it is excellent that the Virtual Global Taskforce will now take this up in its work to halt child online sexual abuse worldwide”. “The exploitation and abuse of children is a global problem requiring global solutions. The problem is increasing and as Internet connectivity improves we expect the volume of child abuse images circulating to grow quickly. Having consistent legislation across the globe is one way that we can fight this problem together. The VGT intends to use the Conventions developed by the Council of Europe to assist law enforcement develop and enhance legislation globally,’ said VGT Chair Neil Gaughan. The VGT includes the Australian Federal Police, Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre of the United Kingdom, Europol, INTERPOL, Italian Postal and Communication Police Service, National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre – part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the New Zealand Police, the Ministry of Interior for the United Arab Emirates, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as private sector partners. Since it began work in 2003, it has helped to rescue hundreds of children from sexual abuse, carrying out numerous targeted law enforcement operations and tracking down hundreds of child sex offenders worldwide, NOA.al Albanian News Agency reports.