Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice (The Rt Hon Mike Penning MP) has today laid a written ministerial statement in the House of Commons outlining the Global Alliance's commitment to tackling child sexual abuse. The statement was also laid in the House of Lords by Lord Bates.
The Global Alliance consists of 54 countries around the world who have committed themselves to:
enhancing efforts to identify victims and ensuring that they receive the necessary assistance, support and protection;
enhancing efforts to investigate cases of child sexual abuse online and to identifying and prosecuting offenders;
increasing children’s awareness of online risks; and
reducing the availability of child sexual abuse images online and the re-victimisation of children.
At a recent Global Alliance meeting in Washington, it was agreed to continue progress by:
enabling law enforcement among Global Alliance countries to gain timely access to electronic information and evidence held by internet service providers and other repositories of electronic information that is material to the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse offences through central authorities and other legally authorised channels, so that no nation becomes a safe haven for such information;
facilitating prompt and comprehensive exchange among law enforcement of information and evidence pertinent to child sexual abuse offences featuring trans-border offence conduct, victims, co-conspirators, or evidence repositories;
enabling internet service providers and other repositories of electronic information to provide information pertinent to the identification, apprehension, and ultimate prosecution of online child sexual abuse offenders to law enforcement pursuant to legal process in a manner and time frame consistent with reasonable investigative and prosecutorial demands; and
augmenting existing, collaborative and trans-border efforts to identify and rescue victims of online child sexual abuse.
It was important to update and assure the House that the government is committed to addressing the trans-border obstacles to identify and rescue victims of exploitation, and to identify and prosecute offenders. To facilitate continued progress, continued international cooperation is key to delivering real results. In December, the prime minister will hold an international summit in London to drive further progress in tackling these horrific crimes.
The fight to eradicate the online exploitation of children is far from complete, but the government will continue working closely with others around the world to maintain momentum.