Police must crack down on child abuse online

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  • By Tsao Yao-chun 曹耀鈞

Between 2017 and last year, the number of cases of sexual exploitation involving children reported by local governments indicated an increasing trend.

Seventy-two percent of the cases involved online crimes, with most of the victims being college students. While the share of this group in all cases has increased, elementary school students are the fastest growing group among victims.

It’s heartbreaking to see the innocent faces of children and to think that they could become victims of abuse without even realizing it.

The dissemination of images and videos of adolescents, girls and boys, as well as young children, is increasingly common. Examples are the “Nth Room” online sexual exploitation case in South Korea – which has caught the attention of the country’s presidential office – as well as similar cases in Taiwan.

The police should pay special attention to these crimes.

The top three channels for the sexual exploitation of children are social media, messaging apps, and internet platforms, and the top five methods are emotional deception, emotional blackmail, bullying, solicitation and trading. indecent material line.

In the vast majority of cases, this involves making or broadcasting indecent videos, and then resorting to intimidation to force the victim to commit intolerable acts.

Education authorities at all levels are working to raise awareness and provide more information about online safety, including how to build parents and children ‘s skills in online safety. Measures include online security training in junior high school textbooks, inviting experts to schools to explain legal ramifications, and setting up dedicated information security websites.

Further analysis of the children targeted online shows that many victims are performing poorly in school. This indicates that educational tools aimed at preventing online sex crimes help educate most students, but have a limited effect on those underperforming.

Addressing this problem requires measures that forcefully prevent perpetrators from pursuing potential targets. Internet police patrols could be of great help in achieving this goal.

In recent years, the police have achieved great success in fighting crime by using internet patrols to break down drug trafficking networks, find private gun caches, and prevent infighting between organized crime groups. , fraud, gambling, etc.

Hopefully, National Police Agency Director General Chen Ja-chin (陳家欽) will assign additional police officers to internet patrols and set up a dedicated task force on cybercrime targeting children. This would help stop potential violators before they can do any harm.

Such a working group would be tantamount to a dynamic mobile internet surveillance monitor. His efforts would certainly have an impact on cybercrime targeting disadvantaged children.

Tsao Yao-chun is a researcher at the China Association of Public Affairs Management and an external expert at the Government Defense Integrity Index.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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