THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Three new member countries have joined the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), an international alliance of law enforcement and private sector agencies dedicated to combating online child sexual abuse. Representatives from the Dutch National Police (DNP), Indonesian National Police (INP) and the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) attended an official signing in ceremony at the new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol's headquarters in The Hague. Edwin R. Nolan, Chargé d'Affaires ad interim of the U.S. Embassy in The Netherlands, also spoke at the event and stressed the importance of global cooperation in the fight against online child sexual exploitation.
"I am proud to welcome these three law enforcement agencies to the VGT and I look forward to working together as we expand the global reach of the VGT to combat the online sexual exploitation of children everywhere," said VGT Chair Ian Quinn, head of the Cyber Crimes Center for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The VGT now consists of 12 international law enforcement agencies, and 11 private sector partners. Earlier this year, Kids Internet Safety Alliance (KINSA) and NetClean joined the VGT as new private sector partners.
"The KNPA is honored to join the renowned VGT as a new member," said Kim Jae-kyu, director of the Cyber Terror Response Center for the KNPA. "With Korea's new government placing an extra emphasis on the safety of children, the KNPA will actively engage in VGT projects and cooperate with members to save vulnerable children and to bring perpetrators to justice. The KNPA hopes our joint effort will lay the foundation for a safer world which children deserve to live in."
"We would like to extend our appreciation for being a part of the VGT," said Police Brigadier General Arief Sulistyanto, director of commercial crime for the INP. "This is an important opportunity to strengthen our efforts to combat crime, in particular online child pornography."
"The Dutch National Police is looking forward to working with these important international partners that are united in the VGT," said DNP representative Miriam Barendse, chief constable. "Only by means of a collective international approach, we will be able to combat the online sexual exploitation of children effectively. I am proud to be part of this effort."
The other nine VGT law enforcement member agencies are: HSI; the Australian Federal Police; the United Kingdom's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre; the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, a division of the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, Royal Canadian Mounted Police; the Italian Postal and Communication Police Service; New Zealand Police; INTERPOL; Europol; and the Ministry of Interior for the United Arab Emirates.
The other VGT private partners are: End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes network (ECPAT International), International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE), the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), PayPal, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, World Vision Australia, Blackberry and The Code.
For more information on the VGT, visit www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com.