What goes online, stays online: GLO.ACT supports criminal justice practitioners to address sexual abuse of children online   

Minsk, Belarus, 2 May 2019 - The issue of sexual abuse and exploitation of children online is emerging as a big challenge for law enforcement agencies around the world and Belarus is no exception.

To support national efforts in strengthening law enforcement capacities in detecting and investigating sexual abuse and exploitation of children online and in developing efficient approaches to protecting children from cybercrime, an advanced training course took place in Minsk from 23 to 26 April 2019.

Jointly organised by UNODC and UNICEF, under the framework of the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT) and with the support of the International Training Centre on Migration and Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings of the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Belarus the three-and-a-half day course entitled "Detection and Investigation of Trafficking in Persons for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children Online" brought together 23 criminal justice practitioners representing MIA's central office from the capital city Minsk and its regional divisions.

During the opening session, Mr. Dmitry Tsaun, deputy head of the Department for Drugs Control and Human Trafficking of the MIA noted that 'Nowadays the world wide web offers new means of committing old crimes such as sexual exploitation and abuse of children. To prevent these and to be able effectively investigate crimes that are virtually invisible, it is crucial for criminal justice to stay ahead of the curve by applying advanced tools and approaches to combat cybercrime.

Mr. Dmitry Shilin, UNICEF child protection specialist noted that 'today we observe how the world is rapidly changing and the informatization of all aspects of social relations is happening. Children spend more and more time in the information space, which makes them more vulnerable. As a result, there is a rapid increase in sexual violence against a child, especially on the internet. UNICEF pays special attention to this issue and participates in the GLO.ACT project with great enthusiasm. Today's workshop will provide law enforcement officers with the necessary tools to solve crimes in the online space, taking into account the best foreign practices.'

Conducted by Mr. Mark Bentley, an internationally renowned data tracing and open source expert, and hosted by the International Training Centre, the training covered a wide range of issues including tracking of cyber criminals, open source, legal and investigator awareness, social engineering and digital surveillance. 'I am delighted to be in Minsk and deliver this training for Belarusian law enforcement officers', said Mr Bentley. 'We all know that in the constantly evolving online space it is getting more and a more difficult to catch criminals online. That is why the focus of my training is on sharing progressive and cutting edge approaches and practices that I hope will change the perception about the way we catch criminals and increase effectiveness of Belarusian police in preventing and combatting trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual abuse online' he continued.

Every session was taught through a combination of theoretical and practical exercises allowing the participants to put into practice new skills on the spot.

At the end of the course all participants received the state recognised certificates of professional development and GLO.ACT certificates of training completion.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

For more information, please contact:

UNODC Vienna: Elena Nyanenkova  nyanenkova-lowry@un.org

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter:    @glo_act