Last updated: 2021-01-26
About our SID activities
As a form of cybercrime, child sexual exploitation is one of the ten EMPACT priorities, Europol's priority crime areas, under the 2018-2021 EU Policy Cycle. Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) supports the competent authorities in the EU Member States in preventing and detecting all forms of criminality associated with the sexual exploitation of children. It provides assistance and expertise in combatting the distribution of child abuse material through all kinds of online environments, and tackles all forms of criminal online behaviour against children, such as grooming, self-generated indecent material, sexual extortion and live distant child abuse. Its focus is also on identifying victims and putting an end to on-going exploitation by enabling the initiation of care measures.
What we are doing to support the SID 2021 slogan of "Together for a better internet"…
The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a surge in online distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), which was already at high levels prior to the pandemic. The harm resulting from being a victim of this crime is severe, and every time a picture or video is shared, this results in repeat victimisation. The impact of this crime area can hardly be overstated and an effective response is of utmost importance.
Europol’s role is to coordinate Member States’ investigations into those who abuse children, encourage and enable that abuse, or make abuse material available through online platforms. Europol uses intelligence products to inform law enforcement partners about suspects’ activities and behaviour, and to potentially identify both offenders and victims. Europol works with partners to organise prevention and awareness-raising campaigns and will contribute its expertise to the discussions around the upcoming EU Strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse.
On 9 February 2021, world Safer Internet Day (SID), Europol will continue to seek increasing ongoing prevention and awareness efforts that highlight the risks to children’s safety online, such as the #Say No! campaign.
Europol is the law enforcement agency of the European Union. Our aim is to help achieve a safer Europe by supporting the law enforcement agencies of European Union member states in their fight against international serious crime and terrorism.
More than 1,000 staff at Europol headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands work closely with law enforcement agencies in the 27 European Union member states and in other non-EU partner states such as Australia, Canada, the USA and Norway.
The Europol Cyber Crime Centre specialises in combatting and preventing crime online, including child exploitation, electronic attacks on information systems, identity theft and fraud.
- Our Public Awareness and Prevention Guides - provide information that can help all digital users protect themselves online
- Our #SayNo! prevention and awareness campaign explains the different types of online sexual coercion and extortion affecting minors, and provides valuable tips that the victims, as well as their family and friends can follow
- Cyber crime vs cyber security: what will you choose? This page offers tips and advice to help prevent teenagers from getting involved into cybercrime, and raise awareness among their parents and teachers on how to guide them towards putting their skills to positive use
- Our Industry Reporting of Child Sexual Abuse Material page - provides a list of available contact points within the European Union for voluntary use by service and content providers within the internet industry only
- Our Report Illegal Content on the Internet page contains a collection of available European Union reporting websites, for illegal content including online sexual abuse material, online grooming and hate speech
- Read the Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessments (IOCTA) 2019, a law enforcement-centric threat assessment focused on cyber attacks, child sexual exploitation online and payment fraud
- Check out our Child Sexual Exploitation page, detailing Europol's European Cybercrime Centre's work within the field of CSE
- The Virtual Global Taskforce Child Sexual Exploitation Environmental Scan looks into some of the challenges that law enforcement face when tackling online child sexual exploitation