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  • Protect Children

Collaboration is the key: Protect Children shares expertise in Brussels and the Hague

Updated: Dec 5, 2022


Last week, Executive Director of Protect Children Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen visited Brussels and the Hague in order to discuss further collaborations and share our expertise in fighting child sexual abuse in Europol, Eurojust and European Parliament.

The week began with a fruitful meeting with Anton Toni Klančnik, Specialist in Child Protection at EUROPOL – 03 European Cyber Crime Center (EC3). We presented key findings from our innovative ReDirection research on anonymous offenders of online crimes of sexual violence against children. EC3 works to strengthen the law enforcement response to cybercrime in the EU. We believe that innovative research is necessary for elaborating efficient legislation to protect children, especially in fast-developing digital environment, and we are happy to continue our strong collaboration with the team at EC3.

During the next meeting, Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen visited Eurojust to discuss with Pia Mäenpää – Seconded National Expert how latest research can assist prosecutors in successfully handling cases related to CSAM and, most importantly, facilitate crime prevention. In addition, Protect Children received valuable insights on how Eurojust deals with CSAM-related crimes, that will be used in our work.

After visiting the Hague, Nina continued to Brussels, joining the expert meeting by End Violence and two events at the European Parliament. Nina presented Protect Children’s experience of translating data into action, and shared how, based on the ReDirection research data, we developed the ReDirection Self-Help Program for individuals who search for, view, and distribute CSAM.

Next, the group of experts continued to the ‘Tech to Keep Children safe online’ event within European Tech Futures Summit at the European Parliament. At the event, the representatives from the Member States, EU institutions and experts discussed technological solutions to child protection. Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen had the privilege to shortly discuss and present the ReDirection project's research results to the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, who previously used Protect Children's ReDirection research in her opening speech for the We Protect Global Alliance Summit in June 2020.

Finally, Protect Children joined ‘Safe Digital Futures for Children: Data for Change' event at the European Parliament to discuss current data and evidence, identify gaps, solutions and opportunities for collaboration. The event was organized by End Violence, We Protect Global Alliance and the European Commission. Within these two days Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen collaborated with top experts in the field, including Professor Victoria Baines, Ana Guerriero (Project Advisor, Lanzarote Committee representative), Vivian Choy (Lead of Analysis Team, INTERPOL), John Shehan (Senior Vice President, Exploited Children Division of National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children) and many others.

Online crimes of sexual violence against children are a global problem that requires immediate and efficient response. These crimes do not know borders since the offender can reach out to a child who is located in a safe environment via digital technologies. In order to successfully address online crimes of sexual violence, we need to work together, sharing our knowledge and experience.

At Protect Children, we believe that collaboration is the key to ending all forms of sexual violence against children. Together we can #ProtectChildren


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