Colombia is the latest country to join the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), an international alliance of law enforcement and private sector agencies dedicated to combating online child sexual exploitation and other forms of transnational child sexual exploitation. An official signing-in ceremony was held in Amsterdam, which was attended by the Colombian ambassador to the Netherlands His Excellency Eduardo Pizarro Leon Gomez and General William René Salamanca Ramirez, Director of Special Service, Colombian National Police
Colombia was formally welcomed by VGT Chair Ian Quinn, head of the Cyber Crimes Center for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), who said, “I’m proud to welcome Colombia to the VGT and I look forward to their contributions in helping us to combat this global problem.” The VGT now consists of 13 international law enforcement agencies and 13 private sector partners.
His Excellency Eduardo Pizarro Leon Gomez said, “For Colombia and the Colombian National Police, we are proud to be part of VGT and to continue to develop joint strategies, exchange information, training and best practices in order to more effectively combat this international crime with the aim and goal of protecting our children.”
Director of Special Service, Colombian National Police General William René Salamanca Ramirez continued, “Colombia’s National Police and the Directorate of Protection and Special Services are aware that child sexual exploitation is a phenomenon that is affecting our country, hence the urgent need to protect children and adolescents in this area. When this behavior occurs, the National Police has the Criminal Investigation Unit of Children and Adolescents as effective adjunct in the fight against sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.”
The 12 other VGT law enforcement member agencies are: HSI; the Australian Federal Police; the UK National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children/Behavioural Science Branch; the Italian Postal and Communication Police Service; New Zealand Police; INTERPOL; Europol; the Ministry of Interior for the United Arab Emirates; Dutch National Police, the Korean National Police, and the Swiss Cybercrime Coordination Unit Switzerland (CYCO).
The 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, Blackberry, The Code, Kids Internet Safety Alliance (KINSA), NetClean, the International Justice Mission, and Telstra.