The Children in the Pictures

The Children in the Pictures

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The Children in the Pictures documentary, aired in Australia in 2021 and in the UK on Channel 4 January 2024, takes us into Task Force Argos, a renowned Australian-based police investigative team, as they go undercover to rescue children from online sexual abuse. From infiltrating global criminal networks to hunting down the abusers, the Argos team shines a light on the dark reality of online child sexual abuse and the fight we all face in stopping it. 

We applaud the Argos team – and all law enforcement focused on child sexual abuse. Their work is essential for detecting and stopping offenders and finding child victims. However, there are also many efforts to prevent harm from occurring in the first place. 

Online child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSAE) is the world’s fastest-growing major crime, but like all abuse, it can often be prevented, and we do not have to wait for harm to occur before we act! 

The Children in the Pictures significance lies in its emotional representation of the challenges faced by law enforcement in combatting online child sexual abuse. Beyond its investigative lens, it subtly communicates an indirect but crucial preventative position, underscoring the imperative message of ensuring children’s safety in the real world and digital spaces.

While lauding law enforcement efforts, the documentary implicitly raises questions about the escalating nature of the problem, prompting a much-needed conversation about the vital importance of prevention. 

2PS's point of view

The documentary provides a detailed insight into the investigative procedures surrounding child sexual exploitation. It illustrates the challenging nature of the authorities’ work, given the involvement of multiple countries with diverse legal jurisdictions.  

Projects like 2PS and other initiatives aim to run parallel to law enforcement efforts, reinforcing prevention against CSAE.  

Indeed, prevention is the focus of the 2PS project, whose goal is to protect children from child sexual abuse by acting at the roots: preventing crime and abuse before it occurs, and where a person has offended, the intention would remain the same: to prevent any future offending and further child victims 

To achieve this, it is of fundamental importance we ensure the availability of support and help for potential perpetrators to facilitate behavioural control and prevent them from offending. By opening doors and helping to support those who experience sexual thoughts of children and acknowledging the problem, we can work to prevent potential perpetrators acting on their thoughts.


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The Children in the Pictures - trailer

Visit the official webpage of the documentary to watch the trailer and listen to the podcast. View video


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What 2PS experts from different fields think
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Prof. Klaus Beier MD PhD
Director of the Institute of Sexology & Sexual Medicine, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

The documentary “The Children in the Pictures” highlights the crucial work of law enforcement personnel in responding to the prevalent issue of child sexual abuse and use of child sexual abuse material, but we should not neglect the fact that effectively countering this issue requires not only criminal justice responses but a broader societal shift toward early prevention. There is a tremendous need to target the heart of the issue and the largest proportion of perpetrators — people completely unknown to police— where prevention efforts possess the greatest potential. In the causer-related preventive approach every effort and measurement which might improve the availability of treatment for those who willingly seek to avoid engaging in or continuing consumption of child sexual abuse images is urgently required. Fortunately, the actions within the 2PS project serve this exact purpose.


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