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DISRUPT Project Kick-Off Meeting Sets the Stage for a Digital-Led Fight Against Child Trafficking

By July 12, 2023July 26th, 2023News, Top Story
Communications Assistant, VSE
2 July 2023 
VSE Project News

In a powerful display of international collaboration, five partners hailing from five different countries came together virtually for the highly anticipated DISRUPT kick-off meeting. The project consortium, comprising University of Malta (Malta, coordinator), Law and Internet Foundation (Bulgaria), CESIE (Italy), VICESSE (Austria) and Victim Support Europe (Belgium, EU), united with a shared vision – to combat child trafficking using cutting-edge digital solutions.

DISRUPT project background

The project DISRUPT – Enhance Digital led InvestigationS, pRosecutions and jUdicial resPonses for dismantling Trafficking chains of children – brings together a consortium with the aim to improve investigations, prosecutions and the judicial response based on digital evidence in the area of trafficking of children.

Starting from the need for an effective and comprehensive response in terms of overcoming challenges related to technology-facilitated trafficking of children, as well as aiming to reduce the risk of secondary victimisation when relying solely on victims’ testimonies, the DISRUPT project will develop an innovative framework for the future use of digital evidences. This will increase the capabilities of digital-evidence-based investigations, prosecutions, as well as judicial responses in the area of THB.

The project, funded by the ISF programme of the European Commission, runs for 24 months and started in April 2023.

Kick-off meeting

During the kick-off meeting, the partners engaged in fruitful discussions regarding various aspects of the DISRUPT project. One of the key focal points was the research on the use of digital evidence in investigations, prosecutions, and judicial responses related to Trafficking in Human Beings (THB). The partners recognised the pressing need for an effective and comprehensive approach to address the challenges posed by technology-facilitated trafficking of children. By harnessing the potential of digital evidence, the DISRUPT project aims to strengthen the capabilities of law enforcement agencies and judicial systems in combating these crimes.

Additionally, the partners discussed how to approach the development of a robust communications and dissemination strategy. Recognising the importance of raising awareness, sharing knowledge, and promoting best practices, they discussed innovative ways to disseminate project outcomes and engage with stakeholders at local, national, and international levels. The collaborative spirit among the partners was evident, as they recognised the significance of knowledge exchange and the power of collective action in combating trafficking chains of children.

The DISRUPT project, funded by the ISF programme of the European Commission, is set to span a duration of 24 months. With the productive discussions held during the kick-off meeting, the consortium lays a strong foundation for the successful implementation of the project’s objectives. By leveraging digital evidence and reducing the risk on secondary victimisation, the partners aspire to make significant strides in combatting the crime of trafficking in children, ensuring a safer future for vulnerable members of our society.

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