Europol: Rise in online sexual abuse of children during COVID-19

There has been a spike in the online sexual abuse of children in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Catherine De Bolle, head of the European police agency Europol.

A rise in paedophile activities seeking access to illegal websites, and the exchange of sexual material involving children, has been reported by the national law enforcement authorities of 27 EU member states. De Bolle added that with children spending more time online, abusers are trying to exploit them through less-secure platforms.

Europol investigators have intercepted offenders who have claimed that it is now easier  to have conversations with children on the Dark Web. However, once school resumes, De Bolle warned that more cases could emerge since children may open up to their teachers.