Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object
Europol's headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands
|Launched||31 May 2017|
Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object is an online campaign by Europol that shows objects which appear in the background of child porn footage. Europol asks people to visit this website and to look at the objects. The project seeks to identify objects and their locale in order to find and aid victims; situate crime scenes; and apprehend perpetrators. Europol believes that having many people trying to identify the objects will expedite the investigative process, allowing individual law enforcement agencies to identify perpetrators and victims of child abuse faster. Individuals may submit information about objects anonymously without further contact from Europol or other law enforcement agencies. Europol's Victim Identification Task Force established the Trace an Object website as part of an overall effort to curb abuse crimes and human trafficking.
Europol launched the Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object campaign via a dedicated web page on 31 May 2017, at Europol's headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands. The impetus for the campaign was an overall rise in child pornography, including perpetrators' use of the dark web to facilitate their illegal distribution of child pornography material and the recent history of investigators' ability to solve similar crimes because of details such as logos. On launch day, the web page showed 20 images for possible identification by the public. By 12 June 2017, Europol had received 10,000 contributions (information about an image displayed on the Trace an Object site) from the public.
Since launching the site in May 2017, Europol has had success in tracing several of the objects and locations depicted. In August, it was reported that a hotel room had been traced to the Maldives after a Twitter user identified it.
Europol uses social media such as Twitter (@Europol) and Facebook to solicit help from the public.
- "Europol shows clues from child abuse images to track offenders". BBC. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- Schwartz, Mathew J. (7 July 2017). "Police Arrest 14 in Child Sexual Exploitation Forum Sting". Bank Info Security. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Europol launches website to help trace victims of child abuse". newstalk.com. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- "Europol crowdsources child abuse cold cases to combat dark web pedophiles". RT International. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- Schwartz, Mathew J. (7 July 2017). "Police Arrest 14 in Child Sexual Exploitation Forum Sting". Data Breach Today. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
This can be done anonymously," Europol says. "Once the origin of an object is identified, we will inform the competent law enforcement authority of the involved country to further investigate this lead and hopefully speed up the identification of both the offender and the victim.
- "New website will reveal clues to public to help identify child abuse victims and paedophiles – Independent.ie". Independent.ie. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- "Europol shares photos that could help crack child sex abuse cases". Mail Online. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- "Europol publishes clues from child abuse images in bid to find offenders". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- "Europol using everyday objects to trace child sex abusers". phys.org. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- Smith, Simon (1 June 2017). "Europol shares 20 tiny details from images of child sex abuse". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- Murdock, Jason (1 June 2017). "Europol wants you to look at these images to help save victims of online predators". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- "10 new objects uploaded, continue to help stop child abuse". Europol Press Release. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
Launched just over a week ago, Europol's public appeal as part of the campaign 'Stop Child Abuse' was a resounding success: over 10 000 contributions were received from the general public via the dedicated webpage.
- "Nieuwstrend twitter vindt door interpol gezochte kamer". EenVandaag Binnenland. 15 August 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Trace an Object official website