Four years ago, a group of Swedish companies and the national police launched a successful initiative to combat child pornography. Since the creation, consulting firm CGI, as part of its CSR policy in Sweden, has been intensively involved in the project.
In 2009, the Swedish Bankers’ Association launched an initiative to work together to stop the purchase of child pornography on the internet. Almost all major Swedish banks gave their support to the initiative. The key objective of the initiative is to track down and reduce child pornography through the payment channel. Once ‘criminals’ want to purchase pictures/video’s, they are in most cases asked for a payment. By analysing electronic payments and credit card details, the initiators have been able to locate and neutralize a large percentage of active online criminals.
Within the association, CGI is part of the payments work group and also serves on its steering committee. The coalition works closely with the Swedish National Police Board to develop new approaches and solutions for identifying and stopping payments related to abuse. CGIs role is especially in the discovery, development and implementation of ‘next generation’ payment solutions.
Although facts have not been released, the joint effort has definitely been effective. According to the police, currently 50.000 attempts to reach illegal websites with abusive images of children are prevented in Sweden every day. Prior to 2008, before the initiative, the number of attempts was “much higher”, says the police.
“Everyone hates to read about child pornography and how children are being exploited”, says Elin Swedlund of CGI Sweden. “We work very closely with all of our banking clients to identify and prevent payments for these terrible activities. Sadly, the child pornography business is continually finding new payment channels, but we work diligently to find these new channels and shut down each one.”
* The banks that participate include Danske Bank, Forex Bank, GE Money Bank, Handelsbanken, ICA Bank, Ikano Bank, Länsförsäkringar Bank, Marginalen Bank, Nordea, SEB, Skandiabanken, Sparbanken Öresund and Swedbank.