The European Union countries have witnessed an increased online child sex abuse during Coronavirus pandemic, according to Europol, the European law enforcement agency. The coming days will see more such cases as the schools open and teachers start monitoring, Europol director Catherine De Bolle said.
The Europol said that cybercrime has increased during the pandemic with people working online and shopping online. Catherine De Bolle told the EU parliament that the most worrying thing was the increased online activity by those seeking child sexual abuse materials.
De Bolle said the national law enforcement authorities from 27 European states had reported a rise in child sex activities. They reported an increased access to illegal websites. They also had shut many of the online platforms for the exchange of child sex material, the director said.
She also said that they had also traced offenders claiming easier access to children in conversations on the dark web. De Bolle said that sexual abusers exploited the children’s exposure to the web as most of them have turned to online lessons after the lockdown.
She told the parliament that a clear picture on the intensity of the abuse will be known once the schools reopen and they interact with the teachers.
The Europol also noted that more calls were received in hotlines used for reporting child abuse.