Law enforcement departments from around the world have come together in Queensland to fight against online child abuse.

The Youth, Technology and Virtual Communities conference kicked off today on the Gold Coast.

Joseph Cooney reports.


The initiative is organised by Task Force Argos, the award-winning Queensland police branch responsible for investigations into online child abuse.

The conference sees Argos’ partners from the US, Europe and Asia coming together to strengthen their international policing network.

Det Stephen Loth, Task Force Argos: “What that allows us to do, is when we identify things online we can share that information quickly, and we can have a job across the world in a matter of minutes.”

But often the answers lay closer to home, and collaborative efforts with former victims are landing valuable insight.

Sascha Chandler, Bravehearts Ambassador: “Yeah I work with detectives and I give them unique insight into what it’s like to be a victim, what disclosure looks like, what the impact was like on my life and the lives of people around me.”

He says children are often too afraid to speak out, making the proactive approach of law enforcement all the more important.

Sascha Chandler, Bravehearts Ambassador: “I think we need to stay on top of just how quickly technology is moving, and Task Force Argos is just such a fantastic example.”

But there are other forms of cyber crime on the agenda.

Wednesday will see the conference turn its attention towards cyber bullying. It’s something Argos says is a growing concern, however it falls within a grey area of the law.

Det Stephen Loth, Task Force Argos: “There’s a lot of debate at the moment about cyber bullying. It’s that behaviour that is probably just that one step away from an offence being committed.”

And that’s one step online bullies are increasingly taking advantage of.

Joseph Cooney, QUT News.