3rd Regional Meeting of Heads of Cybercrime Units (Amsterdam, The Hague, Paris)

Date: 7&8 and 11&12 December
Amsterdam, The Hague Paris
Venue: AMS-IX, Europol-EC3, Expertise France (TBC)

With cybercrime losses on the rise in the ECOWAS region and cybercrime increasingly on the radar of authorities, the role of specialist digital evidence and cybercrime units is expanding. This places a growing demand on strategic international cooperation and increases the need to adhere to international best practice and standards. It is only through a joint effort that the region will be able to combat cybercrime within and beyond its borders.

Under the OCWAR-C project, implemented by Expertise France, the ECOWAS Commission and the European Union aim to help all countries in the ECOWAS zone plus Mauritania by building the capacity of units dedicated to combating cybercrime and processing digital evidence. Although the region is at different levels of development on this issue, all countries in the region are committed to following international standards on legislative and policy frameworks in line with the Malabo Convention, the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime (and the recently adopted Second Additional Protocol), as well as relevant ECOWAS guidelines and strategies.

Effective use of these instruments will strengthen cooperation, optimise their legal frameworks and enable the region to effectively combat cybercrime. As cybercrime and digital evidence place significant demands on the limited capabilities that exist in the region, better use of existing cooperation tools can help prioritise the work of cybercrime units.

The aim of OCWAR-C is to help specialist units, particularly those in charge of cybercrime and digital evidence, to find appropriate solutions, also from a regional perspective. The regional meeting of heads of cybercrime units will be held for the third time. The aim is to further improve strategic international cooperation and explore relevant EU best practices. With this in mind, this third edition of the meeting will consist of a study visit to the Netherlands, Europol-EC3 in The Hague and France. As with its previous edition, the main aim of the meeting is to bring together the relevant heads of unit from the region to share and learn from each other’s experiences, and to explore both the differences and the commonalities in the legal, technical and organisational challenges. This time, however, the focus will be on international police cooperation beyond the region.




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