Ill. AG announces measures to address increased reports of online child exploitation
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS) - Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced measures designed to address an increase in reports of online child exploitation.
He announced the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, managed by the attorney general’s office, will offer a series of webinars to help families ensure children are safe online.
In addition, a new mobile forensic unit will help law enforcement conducting child pornography investigations in communities throughout the state.
Attorney General Raoul encourages parents, guardians and educators to participate in a series of free online trainings hosted by his office that will provide information to help children develop healthy internet habits.
The online safety webinars will teach parents about the apps children and teens may be using; how to help youth navigate aggressive online behavior, both as a victim and perpetrator; how to help children foster healthy online interactions; and how to identify signs that a child or student may have been a victim of online child solicitation.
The series will begin on October 7, and webinars will take place at 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.
If you’re interested, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Reports of child pornography and child exploitation have increased over the last several years, and that trend does not show signs of stopping. Protecting children and helping them foster healthy interactions online requires a collaboration involving parents and guardians, educators and law enforcement,” Raoul said. “My Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force allows local, state and federal law enforcement to share resources to identify and apprehend offenders who prey upon children through apps, social media and the internet. I am encouraging families and educators to also take an active role in digital safety, and my office’s webinars will teach them about the apps their children might be using and how to identify the signs that a child has been victimized.”
The ICAC Task Force is run by the AG’s office with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. It receives CyberTips, or online reports of child porn, from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
According to the attorney general’s office, it’s projected that reports to the ICAC during 2021 will increase 23 percent over 2020. They said the trend is in part due to increased reporting and awareness by social media platforms and apps.
He made the announcement on Monday, October 4, at the Attorney General’s office in Springfield.
Raoul was joined by Acting U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois Doug Quivey, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly, Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright and investigators from the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
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