In the framework of the Council of Europe Project to End Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse @ Europe (EndOCSEA@Europe) and the Project on Combatting Violence Against Children in Ukraine (Phase II), two Council of Europe independent experts: Ms Rajka Vlahovic, former Crown Prosecutor UK and Ms Maria Andriani Kostopoulou, Lawyer, led a first webinar for Ukraine on Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (OCSEA) addressed to the national police, judges and prosecutors in Ukraine, on the afternoon of 5 October 2020. The event was opened by Ms Tetyana Kovalchuk, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and Ms Larysa Zub, the Head of the Juvenile Prevention Division of the Department of Preventive Activities in Ukraine.
The webinar took place in the context of the current positive legislative reforms in Ukraine to implement further the Council of Europe Convention on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (Lanzarote Convention). The objective was to present to both law enforcement and the judiciary key concepts and their practical use to foster their increased collaboration in reaching positive legal results regarding OCSEA. This overview included:
- definitions, trends and related criminal procedures on OCSEA, with a focus on child sexual abuse material and grooming;
- the investigations and measures for obtaining electronic evidence in the context of online child sexual exploitation and abuse;
- end to end victim and witness support during OCSEA investigations.
The event was attended by over 240 participants which included representatives of key stakeholders working in this area in Kyiv but also in the multiple regions including actors from relevant Ministries, the Parliament, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights, the National Police and Cybercrime units, prosecutors and judges, and their national training institutions. Civil society organisations working in this area to support victims and witnesses were also present.
The experts working with the EndOCSEA project are currently finalising a module on OCSEA which will be used in a more thorough online training for Ukraine on 08-11 December 2020.
The Council of Europe gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided for this programme by the Fund to End Violence Against Children.