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UNODC and ICMEC Coordinate Efforts to Increase Regional Capabilities in the Fight against Online Children and Adolescents Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in collaboration with the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), with the financial support of Canada, developed the  Regional Training "Together for a Protected Childhood. Combating Technology- Facilitated Child Sexual Abuse On-line" from November 9 to 11, 2016 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
In the Regional Training, it was explained in-depth how children and adolescent interact with offenders through information and communication technologies (ICT), profiles of victims, profiles of criminals, basic concepts, reporting mechanisms of child sexual abuse and exploitation and the importance of contemplating measures to face and mitigate risk intrinsic to ICT in national policies and strategies.

The Regional Training was directed for law enforcement investigators, digital forensic examiners, law enforcement supervisors, prosecutors and judges of the region (Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá and the Dominican Republic), and it was focused on ICT-facilitated crimes and ensuring an effective prosecution and adjudication of cases. The training was provided by renowned international specialists. 

This training aims to prevent that the lack of knowledge about conducts, tools for prevention, care and investigation of child sexual abuse content, facilitates that cases reported to authorities and operators of specialized care remain in impunity. According to Ms. Sonya Young, Magistrate for the Supreme Court of Belize, the training provided a new perspective on how difficult these cases are for the Police, and stressed the importance of knowing both the limitations and the possibilities technological evidence provides.

The training was developed by international experts from different institutions such as the U.S. Marshals Services, INTERPOL, Canada Police, ICMEC, Pennsylvania State Police, UNODC and ICE. The training also counted with the active participation of internet service providers from Facebook, Microsoft and Google.

The Regional Training was developed thanks to the financial resources provided by the Government of Canada under the project " Strengthening the Capacity to Prevent and Combat Cybercrime and Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) in Central America", implemented by UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime in Guatemala.