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Six child victims of sexual abuse were rescued by Europol

The representative of the Cyprus Police played an important role in locating one of the children.

Six child victims of sexual abuse were identified and rescued during the 12th Victim Identification Task Force organized by Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3). The representative of the Cyprus Police played an important role in locating one of the children.

Between 8 and 19 May, more than 30 victim identification specialists from around the world joined forces at Europol headquarters and online to identify victims and perpetrators depicted in child sexual abuse material.

The experts, supported by Europol experts and data analysts, examined more than 460 sets of images and video files, depicting unidentified child victims of sexual abuse, some only a few days old. The result of this effort was the identification and rescue of six children from abuse, as well as the arrest of one perpetrator.

In addition, in 236 other cases, the possible country of production of child sexual abuse material has been identified, while investigations are ongoing at the national level to identify further victims.

This year’s edition of the Victim Identification Task-Force (VIDTF) involved 28 countries from around the world, including Cyprus, while Europol and Interpol also participated.

Cyprus was represented by a member of the Electronic Data Forensic Laboratory of the Electronic Crime Directorate. His contribution was decisive since he contributed to the recognition of a child victim in a European country.

Since 2014, Europol has been bringing together victim identification experts from around the world on a regular basis to focus on unsolved child sexual abuse cases.

The VIDTF is the largest repeat operation of its kind in the world and has inspired a number of similar initiatives at national and regional levels, such as in Italy and Australia.

At the same time, Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3) has a special group of experts that supports countries in dealing with sexual abuse and exploitation of children online.

In 2022, this group, known as Analysis Project Twins, supported 93 child sexual abuse investigations.

More recently, Europol’s support was instrumental in the arrest of a fifty-year-old child abuser by the Italian Postal and Communications Police (Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni). Europol provided Italian authorities with a package of information that identified the perpetrator, who had been active on pedophile platforms on the dark web for a decade.

If you want to contribute to solving cases of child sexual abuse? Go to https://www.europol.europa.eu/stopchildabuse to see if you recognize any of the details in the images posted.

Europol periodically publishes new photo series as part of its Stop Child Abuse – Trace An Object campaign, appealing to the public for clues that could lead to a child being identified and rescued from harm.

No element is insignificant, the smallest detail can be decisive in identifying a potential victim.

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