European Financial Coalition

WELCOME FROM THE CHAIR

Dear Reader,

Please be invited to have a look at the website of the EFC. This is short for the European Financial Coalition against the commercial sexual exploitation online. You probably understand that we usually just refer to the European Financial Coalition or just EFC. It is very sad that we actually need such a coalition to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation online, but it is a necessity and therefore it's good that it exists.

The main aim of this coalition is to jointly take action as coalition partners to minimize the possibilities for child molesters and criminal gangs to abuse technology and financial products to process images and gain financial gain from these horrific forms of crime. For this purpose the coalition brings together key partners from the financial services sector, technology companies and law enforcement.

The partnership has from the outset been established on a voluntary basis. The European Commission has funded mainly the secretariat function during the first years to get lift-off, but nowadays the participation is in essence a contribution in kind by the participants. This is to some extent a sacrifice, but at the same time a very strong, positive signal of corporate social responsibility of the companies that contribute to the successes of the EFC.

The actions against the abuse of technology and financial products certainly have had effect. The criminal money flows associated to commercial sexual exploitation of children online has been pushed almost completely out of the traditional payment systems, like bank transfers and credit cards, towards less or non-regulated emerging alternatives such as virtual currencies and anonymous debit cards.

Technology and financial products will continue to evolve over time and equally will attempts of criminals to abuse these new solutions persist. The EFC is therefore on a perpetual pursuit to prevent criminals from using legitimate instruments for financial gains from sexually abusing children. And we welcome all partners that feel compelled and competent to help with that, to join the European Financial Coalition!

Olivier Burgersdijk

Head of Strategy
European Cybercrime Centre
Europol
Chairman of the European Financial Coalition.

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