UNDP launches new SDG Partnership on tackling digital sex crimes with Korean National Police

May 24, 2022
UNDP Seoul Policy Centre staff are organizing a webinar.
UNDP Seoul Policy Centre

UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) hosted a webinar on ‘Police Capacity Building for Tackling Digital Sex Crime: Experiences and Lessons from Korea’ together with the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) on 23 May 2022. The event marked the official launch of a new thematic programme in collaboration with UNDP’s Global Policy Network (GPN).

Building on a 2021 webinar held with experts from KNPA, the Republika Srpska Women Police Officers Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina and partner UN agencies, USPC plans to release a call for expression of interest for UNDP country offices seeking seed funding and advisory support on digital sex crime issues based on Korea’s experience.

Mr. Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, opened the discussion by emphasizing the importance of tackling sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in cyberspace and highlighting the value of UNDP’s collaboration with KNPA, especially in light of the programme’s alignment with UNDP’s Strategic Plan and the Gender Equality Strategy. Mr. Yong-Hwan Lim, Director General of Foreign Affairs in KNPA, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share the Korean Police’s investigative and support mechanisms for digital sex crimes and their survivors.

Mr. Byung-Gui Lee, Director of Cyber Investigation Division in KNPA, highlighted the evolving nature of digital sex crimes and the need for a pan-governmental response to effectively tackle them. He shared KNPA’s successful response mechanisms to digital sex crimes, ranging from investigative cooperation with foreign IT companies, confiscation of criminal proceeds, and integrative victim protection and support system. Legislative amendment to provide a legal foundation for police investigations was also introduced, which underlined the importance of institutional support for better tackling digital sex crimes.

Ms. Ahjung Lee, Policy Specialist and Governance Portfolio Manager of USPC, explained the purposes and significance of newly launching the GPN Programme on digital sex crime. Introducing USPC’s previous collaboration with seven countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, DR Congo and Iraq, Ms. Lee elaborated on the details of the upcoming expression of interest and the key evaluation criteria.

Mr. Sofiene Bacha, Policy Specialist from the Rule of Law, Security and Human Rights Team of UNDP’s Crisis Bureau, overviewed the 4th phase of UNDP’s global engagement on Justice, Security and Human Rights, mainly aiming for a holistic approach for governments and institutions, providing toolkits and resources, and building concrete partnerships within and outside the UN system. He also highlighted the significance of the webinar in the context of UNDP’s global strategic engagement on SGBV and recent global program on tackling cybercrime.

In closing, Dr. Anne Juepner, Acting Director of USPC, thanked the participants from 46 countries and reiterated the importance of sharing lessons on tackling digital sex crimes via UNDP’s global network to better fight violence against women and girls.

* USPC has been sharing Korea's tested-and-proven policy tools in SGBV prevention and mitigation with other countries through SDG Partnerships and GPN Partnerships. To kick-start the new thematic partnership in digital sex crime, USPC hosted its first knowledge-exchange webinar with the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) and Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2021. Starting in 2022, USPC is launching a new GPN Programme on digital sex crime and is seeking a new partnership to share KNPA’s leading examples in digital sex crime investigation and victim support.