On December 1, 2003, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) held its first international law-enforcement training program on investigating online crimes against children. The Conference on Computer-Facilitated Crimes Against Children was conducted over four days at the headquarters of Interpol, an international police organization, in Lyon, France. Law enforcement representatives from 41 countries came together to receive training on investigating online child predators, collecting evidence and computer forensic information, and seeking private industry support in child exploitation investigations.
“This type of criminal activity is an international issue transcending borders and jurisdictions,” said Ruben Rodriguez, director of Domestic and International Law Enforcement Affairs at ICMEC and one of the organizers of the conference. “One of ICMEC’s mandates is to bring to law enforcement the tools necessary to assist them in their investigations of crimes being perpetrated against our world’s children. This course is designed to aid law enforcement in the development of those skills necessary to address this type of crime,” he continued.
This conference identified the great need for law enforcement education about these crimes in all parts of the world. ICMEC has received numerous invitations to conduct similar training seminars in 2004 and beyond. Regions in which the training will take place include Central America, Australia and New Zealand, South East Asia, and Eastern Europe. Countries in South America and Southern Africa have also expressed strong interest.
Initial funding for this series of training programs was part of a generous contribution from Microsoft. Microsoft’s support is one of many efforts the company is making to help safeguard the children of the world online.