In 2016, the U.S. Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography (FCACP) will enter its 10th year as a shining example of what private-public collaboration can accomplish.
“If people were purchasing heroin and cocaine using their credit cards, we would be outraged and would do something about it. This is worse.”Senator Richard Shelby, Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Working with law enforcement, ICMEC and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the FCACP has helped to create a hostile environment on the Internet for those who seek to profit from the sexual exploitation of children.
Launched in 2006, the U.S. FCACP’s membership includes the country’s leading banks, credit card companies, electronic payment networks, third-party-payments companies, and Internet services companies. Together, ICMEC and NCMEC co-manage the FCACP.
The FCACP, in conjunction with law enforcement, has made significant progress in its goal to disrupt the economics of the commercial child pornography business and eradicate its profitability. For example, since the FCACP began in 2006:
- There has been more than a 50% drop in the number of commercial child pornography websites reported to the U.S. CyberTipline, managed by NCMEC.
- Websites offering child pornography now frequently direct buyers away from traditional payment methods such as credit cards. Instead, they recommend more complicated alternatives that may dissuade some potential purchasers.
We will continue to help the financial industry keep the pressure on those organizations that seek to profit from the sexual exploitation of children.
Consistent with ICMEC’s strong training legacy, the FCACP has published several best practices papers and launched a workshop for the payments industry:
- International Merchant Acquisition and Monitoring Best Practices for Prevention and Detection of Commercial Child Pornography;
- Trends in Migration, Hosting, and Payment for Commercial Child Pornography Websites;
- Trends in Online Crime and Their Potential Implications in the Fight Against Commercial Child Pornography.
The FCACP workshop, which is titled Keeping Child Pornography Merchants Out of the Payments System, was designed to help frontline employees protect their own companies from being infiltrated by the organizations that sell child pornography online and the businesses that support them. The FCACP workshop was featured at eight payments industry conferences and webinars from 2012 to 2014.
Because the business of child pornography resides on the Internet, taking it on requires international cooperation. ICMEC has been working to expand the FCACP globally.
Asia-Pacific Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography (APAC-FCACP)
The Asia-Pacific Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography was established in 2009, and is managed by ICMEC Singapore.
The European Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC) brings together key actors from law enforcement, the private sector and civil society in Europe with the common goal of fighting the commercial sexual exploitation of children online. ICMEC participates in the EFC’s Steering Group, and has presented at the EFC’s two Awareness Raising Events. In addition, the EFC has conducted training sessions for law enforcement and has published a Strategic Assessment of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online.
In 2008, ECPAT Sweden began collaborating with SkandiaBanken and law enforcement on an initiative to combat the business of child pornography on the Internet. In 2009, the Swedish Bankers Association and ECPAT announced that all Swedish bankers would support the initiative. This Swedish Coalition continues today.