King Willem-Alexander spoke at The Hague Security Delta (HSD) with representatives of organisations involved and with the daily management of HSD. During the tour that followed he was introduced to Sweetie and Watch Netherlands, programmes by Terre des Hommes Netherlands that use state-of-the-art IT technology to fight sexual exploitation of children.
Tracks Inspectors and Sweetie
Tracks Inspector is one of the companies located at HSD. Based on the success of the Sweetie research from 2013, together with this company as well as specialists from the Universities of Leiden and Tilburg, Terre des Hommes Netherlands is developing an automated system that monitors the internet public spaces worldwide through deployment of so-called chatbots, to recognise and deter millions of (potential) offenders of webcam sex with children. The programme ‘Sweetie 2.0: A world free of webcam sex with children’ is supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.
The king was touched
King Willem-Alexander appeared well-informed about the Sweetie Project and dedicated ample time to exchange views with Rens Wolf from Tracks Inspector, Bart Schermer from the University of Leiden and Hans Guyt of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, on technical, legal and psychological aspects of the project. Online sexual abuse of children is an issue that visibly touches him.
A bill that among other things will make it possible to use technologies like Sweetie 2.0 in the fight against sexual exploitation of children on the Internet, is currently being tabled in the Senate. When asked, the king indicated that he was looking forward to the completion of this bill which he would wholeheartedly sign into law.
Forensic ICT professionals
The Observation & Action unit of Watch Netherlands is also located at the HSD campus. Watch Netherlands is a joint programme of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Fier and the Centre for Child and Human Trafficking (CKM) that addresses the sexual exploitation of minors in the Netherlands. Together with Tracks Inspector, a team of forensic IT specialists and researchers has been set up which maps the nature and extent of sexual exploitation of minors in the Netherlands and which uses luring advertisements to alert and deter (potential) perpetrators.
The Hague Security Delta
The Hague Security Delta is a network of companies, research institutions and authorities who cooperate on knowledge and innovation in the field of security. The heart is the HSD Campus, the national innovation centre for safety in The Hague. Four companies were selected for the king’s visit, including Tracks Inspector, to give a comprehensive picture of the activities happening at the the HSD.