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ECC award well deserved


Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Internal Affairs

10 September 2008

ECC award well deserved

Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker has said New Zealand can be extremely proud of the Department of Internal Affairs’ Censorship Compliance Unit for receiving the Every Child Counts Annual Institutional Award. The award recognises an institution or organisation that has made a significant difference in the past year to improve the status and wellbeing of children.

UNICEF (UN Children’s Fund) nominated the unit for the award for developing a computer programme that tracks down traders of child sex abuse images and making it available to law enforcement agencies worldwide. The software called Super Squirrel Hunter has enhanced the safety and protection of children both in New Zealand and overseas.

”The censorship unit is innovative and motivated in its work to defend our communities. It has made a major contribution to the worldwide fight against this trade through harnessing the expertise of its team members and sharing it with the world,” Rick Barker said. “They work all hours and have shown repeatedly they have the expertise to catch offenders.

“Those who trade these images go to no end of trouble to try and hide their identities but it’s thanks to the dedication of our censorship team that sophisticated operations get broken.

“Parliament expressed its abhorrence and intolerance of the child sex abuse image trade when it substantially increased the penalties for these crimes in 2005.”

ENDS

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