Framework for a Single Global Repository of Child Abuse Materials

* By Kemal Veli Açar, member of CyAN

Against the tide of a huge amount of data-both in online environments and in the seized devices of suspects-LEAs barely manage to focus on undiscovered CAMs to identify victims, abusers, and crime scenes. Currently, there are international and national repositories of CAMs in place, such as Interpol’s International Child Sexual Exploitation Database (ICSE DB), NCMEC’s Child Recognition and Identification System ( CRIS), and the UK’s Child Abuse Image Database (CAID). Although it has a relatively long historical background and is also of crucial importance, the repositories of known CAMs and the possible pathways for their future growth or spread have not received adequate attention. This article introduces global, regional, and national repositories and other related transnational initiatives comprehensively and also critiques the current trend of setting up more repositories and additional initiatives at local and regional levels. Later, the author will elaborate on a plan for a single global repository governed by an international organization, in order to consolidate the seemingly unorganized efforts without removing or undermining any of them. Thus, in addition to a significant decrease in the costs for a country to be actively involved in the fight against online child sexual abuse, new possibilities for more effective prevention strategies and investigational methods might emerge as a result of such global centralization of technical and organizational aspects.

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