Child sexual exploitation investigations—many of them undercover—are conducted in FBI field offices by Child Exploitation Task Forces (CETFs), which combine the resources of the FBI with those of other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices has worked investigations developed by the VCAC program, and several of our legal attaché offices have coordinated with appropriate foreign law enforcement partners on international investigations Many of these investigations are also worked in coordination with Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces, which are funded by the Department of Justice.S.-based tour companies or tour operators, whereas other offenders plan their travel independently.Information on procuring children in foreign destinations is readily available in pedophile newsgroups and forums on the Internet.In 1995, based on information developed during this investigation, the Innocent Images National Initiative—initially part of our Cyber Division—was created to address the illicit activities conducted by users of commercial and private online services and the Internet.In 2000, the Crimes Against Children program was formed by our Violent Crimes Section—part of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.
The mission of the FBI's Violent Crimes Against Children program is threefold: first, to decrease the vulnerability of children to sexual exploitation; second, to develop a nationwide capacity to provide a rapid, effective, and measured investigative response to crimes against children; and third, to enhance the capabilities of state and local law enforcement investigators through programs, investigative assistance, and task force operations.
Furthermore, training is provided to all law enforcement involved in these investigations, including federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies.
During the early stages of the program, a substantial amount of time was spent conducting investigations on commercial online service providers that provided numerous easily accessible “chat rooms” where teenagers and pre-teens could meet and converse with one another.
Child sex tourism (CST) is defined as travel abroad to engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of a child under the age of 18.
Some CST offenders, usually novices to the commercial sex trade, plan their travel through U.