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Eurojust tactical meeting on travelling child sex offenders

The Hague, 19 September 2011

On 14 and 15 September 2011, Eurojust held a tactical meeting in The Hague on travelling child sex offenders. The meeting was organised by Eurojust’s Trafficking and Related Crimes Team, chaired by Mr Ola Laurell, the Eurojust Contact Point for Child Protection and Eurojust National Member for Sweden.

The tactical meeting was opened by Mr Aled Williams, President of Eurojust and National Member for UK, and by Mr Laurell. Sixty participants attended the meeting and exchanged experiences related to the fight against travelling child sex offenders and the available and needed means to prevent and combat this crime type. Keynote speakers were prosecutors, judicial specialists on child exploitation, and police officers from Europe, India, Cambodia, Thailand, the USA and Europol. Their presentations were followed by discussions with all participants in four working groups.

The working groups held lively discussions about, among other things, the use of contact points, problems arising from different legislation on collection and admissibility of evidence, the needs for EU funding, the possibility to use JITs, and the roles to be played by Eurojust. Protection of victims and witnesses was also considered of the utmost importance.

At the end of the tactical meeting, Mr Laurell commented: “One of the outcomes of this seminar, and I cannot stress this point strongly enough, is the importance of the national authorities travelling to the country where the crime has been committed. Among other things, this action demonstrates commitment to the investigation in the destination country. Just sending an MLA is not sufficient.”

BACKGROUND
Since its establishment, Eurojust has played an active role in fighting crime against children. This was reinforced since the recommendations made by the 2007 informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Lisbon, in particular by the creation of a Contact Point for Child Protection.

The Contact Point takes the lead in co-ordinating information on transnational investigations of crimes concerning children in the areas of child abduction, missing children, sexual abuse of children, trafficking in children and child abuse on the internet. The Contact Point for Child Protection is available to support and advise the National Members when dealing with cases involving children. Focusing on issues important to Eurojust and our partners in the Member States, the Contact Point raises awareness on child protection-related matters, disseminates relevant information and advises on the possible actions to be taken.

The Contact Point closely follows the work of relevant authorities, law enforcement organisations and other bodies to ensure co-operation with preferred partners, such as Europol, the European Commission, Interpol, the UNODC, national police authorities and other organisations and authorities working in the field of child protection. More information on the Contact Point is accessible on our webpage: www.eurojust.europa.eu/childprotect.htm.

For initial contacts exclusively from law enforcement authorities and international organisations, a special e-mail address has been created: childprotection@eurojust.europa.eu.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Joannes THUY, Spokesperson - Head of Press & PR Service
EUROJUST, Maanweg 174, 2516 AB, The Hague, the Netherlands
Tel +31 70 412 5508
E-mail: jthuy[AT]eurojust.europa.eu