Thursday, April 02, 2009
Child abuse and the EU
Jacques Barrot, EU commissioner for freedom, justice and security has said Europe is facing "an extremely dramatic situation" after the number of child abuse websites increased fourfold between 2004 and 2007.
In 2000 Barrot was convicted in a French court of "abuse of confidence".
The case involved the diverting of £2 million of government money to his party.
He received an eight month suspended prison sentence but was pardoned by Jacques Chirac.
According to The Guardian, 4 March 2009, (EU fights huge increase in web child abuse The Guardian ):
At the launch of an international coalition to disrupt finances of the online child sex trade, Barrot warned that organised criminal gangs were making an "indecent profit" for "horrific crimes against the most vulnerable people - children".
British police who tackle online child abuse and will lead the work of the European Financial Coalition said that up to 300 commercial child abuse websites were available at any one time and earnt well in excess of €30m (£26.8m) a year.
Officers at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) in London processed 1.6m images in the past year alone and identified and rescued 50 children.
"The ages of the victims are getting lower and lower and the degree of depravity is getting higher and higher," said Francis Herbert, secretary general of Missing Children Europe, which is part of the coalition.
The Internet Watch Foundation has found that 10% of the children featuring in images of abuse are under two, a third are younger than six and 80% are under 10.
"The recent trend has been for more brutal images and severe torture of children," said Torbjorn Ull, a detective in Europol's serious crime department in Brussels.
"If there is a demand for images of penetration or torture then they will produce it to order."
Some images appeared to include killings, though it has been impossible for officers to verify.
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