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United for a Protected Childhood from the Information and Communication Technologies Basic Training for the Security and Justice Sector

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Central America and the Caribbean (UNODC ROPAN) along with the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) organized the Regional Workshop "United for a Child Protected in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Fighting online child sexual abuse". This regional workshop was conducted in Guatemala City, from the 21 st to 23 rd June and is part of the project "Strengthening Capacity to Prevent and Combat Cybercrime and Internet Crimes against Children in Central America (ICAC).

The workshop was attended by representatives of the security and justice sectors from the Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize and Guatemala, and had the objective to strengthen regional interinstitutional cooperation in accordance with the organic and functional principles of this sector´s institution. It also sought to strengthen the institutions´ capacities to detect, investigate and prosecute cybercrime, particularly those committed against children and adolescents, through technology.

The workshop was attended by international experts from Interpol, Ontario Police of Canada, the US Department of Justice, the U.S. State Police of Pennsylvania and ICMEC. The event began with the presentation of Nayelly Loya, Deputy Head of UNODC El Salvador, who described the characteristics of cybercrime, the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in cybercrime, ways to combat or investigate child sexual exploitation online, and offered tools to strengthen the judicial investigation system.

The topics developed during the event were: terminology guideline for the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, victim profile, offender profile, methods used for child seduction  through information technologies, methods to prevent and combat child sexual abuse, detection of abuse, interview with victims, interview with aggressors, effects of abuse on victims, work exhaustion or secondary traumatic stress, research methods, preservation of digital evidence and inter-institutional coordination efforts to prosecute online child sexual exploitation cases.

We are grateful to our sponsor, the Canadian Embassy in Guatemala, for its generous financial support for the project "Strengthening the Capacity to Prevent and Combat Cybercrime and Internet Crimes against Children in Central America."