Safer Internet Forum 2016
Please note that speakers' biographies will be added on a regular basis, as soon as speakers are confirmed. For more information on the agenda, please check the Agenda tab.

Mary Aiken

Dr Mary Aiken is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin. She is the Academic Advisor (Psychology) to the European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) at Europol. Mary is a CyberPsychologist and Fellow at the Network Science Research Center (NSRC), lecturer in Criminology and Research Fellow at the School of Law Middlesex University. She is a Fellow of the Society for Chartered IT Professionals. In November 2015, Mary was appointed to the board of the Hague Justice Portal – an organisation focused on social policy issues. Mary's research centres on cyber behavioural analysis. She is currently leading an international research project examining youth behavioural escalation online in conjunction with INTERPOL and a number of international police forces. She is involved in a number of Forensic CyberPsychology research areas including; organised cyber crime, cyber reporting of crime, virtual behavioural profiling, cyber analytics, human trafficking & technology, cyberstalking, cyber resilience, cyberbullying, cyber ethics, child welfare in cyberspace, personal cyber security and safety.
Mary is recognised as an expert at national and European level in policy debates at the intersection of technology and human behaviour. She co-led a White House research team focused on “Tackling Technology Facilitated Human Trafficking.” In 2013 she was appointed by the Department of Communications (Republic of Ireland) to the Internet Content Governance Advisory Group. She has been a spokesperson and expert contributor to the European Commission’s Safer Internet Day, and an Observer to the INTERPOL Specialists Group on Crimes Against Children. Dr Aiken is the Principal Investigator on the current "Youth Pathways into Cybercrime" Europol research project.
Dr Mary Aiken is the author of the "The Cyber Effect".

Adina Braha-Honciuc

Adina Braha-Honciuc leads Microsoft’s Accessibility, Sustainability and Environment Policy for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to this, she has been working on policy issues relating to cloud computing and the digital economy, primarily privacy and data protection, and represented Microsoft on privacy matters in various trade associations. She also has experience in the field of corporate strategy within Procter & Gamble in Geneva and Beiersdorf in Hamburg. Adina holds an economics degree from Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and a Master’s degree in International Business from BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo.

Maggie Brennan

Margaret (Maggie) Brennan is lecturer and researcher based in the Schools of Applied Psychology and Criminology, University College Cork, Ireland. Her primary research interest relates to online child sexual offending - specifically to the role of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) and online technologies in the offending process, and the impact of this exploitation on victims. A major focus of Maggie’s work is the development of novel approaches to the assessment, management and prevention of online child sexual offences, with an emphasis on the development of enhancements for front-line domain practice.
Her recent research includes work to develop models of online child sexual offending behaviour, as well as decision-support technologies for police (and others) involved in the risk assessment and management of CSEM offences. Most recently, Maggie was commissioned by ECPAT International as Principal Investigator on the European Commission funded ‘I-CARE Global Imperative Indicator’ research project. This research aims to develop a descriptive profile of unidentified victims of CSEM within Interpol’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) Database, and other measures to enhance the international victim identification effort. 

Barbara Buchegger

Barbara Buchegger is pedagogical project manager for the Awareness Centre of the Austrian Safer Internet Centre (SIC). She is responsible for’s services for the educational sector, from the development of learning resources to teacher training. She is an expert in online safety, media education, digital literacy and collaborative e-learning. She is an on- and offline facilitator and trainer for teachers in the fields of internet use and e-learning. In her work for, she mainly works with pupils, teachers, head teachers and parents because of her pedagogical expertise. She is an in demand speaker on both a national and international level in this field. She is chairperson of the European expert group on digitalisation and youth (DG Education and Culture).
Barbara is a graduated engineer from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna and holds a Master of Education degree from Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

Tony Burns

Tony Burns is a Senior Security Consultant at Intel Security and has worked for Intel (formerly McAfee) since 2007. Tony has led and coordinated the Intel Security Online Digital Safety Program ( in the UK since its launch in 2013, and is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars on online safety for children and Cloud security. Tony has worked with organisations including Childnet, Slough Borough Council and local charities about online security.
Tony has an MSc in Information Technology for Management as well as security certifications including CISSP and is an ISO 27001 Lead Auditor with a background in information security auditing. He is passionate about education with the first line of the defence being the user and sees the internet as an enabler for creativity in the social world as well as an enabler for business.
Tony lives in the UK and has a Spanish partner with two young children who remind him why his work to educate and protect future generations about online security is so important. Tony can be found on Twitter: @TonyBurnsMcAFEE.

John Carr OBE

John Carr is Expert Adviser to the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online and to Bangkok-based global NGO, ECPAT International. He is also Secretary of the UK Children’s Charities’ Coalition for Internet Safety (CHIS) and an Executive Board Member of the UK Government’s Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). John is or has been a Senior Expert Adviser to the United Nations (International Telecommunication Union), an Expert Adviser to the European Union and the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Member of the Children’s Advisory Panel, British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). John was Former Vice President of MySpace, Former Member of the Microsoft’s Policy Board for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Former Director of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).

Verolien Cauberghe

Verolien Cauberghe is Associate Professor of Communication Management at the Centre of Persuasive Communication ( of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium. She teaches masters courses in Corporate Communication, Social Marketing and Marketing Communication. Her research interests focus on the impact of crisis and risk communication, the effectiveness of various persuasive strategies (in both profit and nonprofit contexts), and persuasion knowledge among children. As the Director of the CEPEC, she is active in attracting research funding and guidance of various PhD students. She has published, in the last five years, more than 20 scientific articles in A1 journals among others in the Journal of Advertising, the Journal of Communication, the International Journal of Advertising, the Journal of Interactive Marketing, Media Psychology, and Cyberpsychology and Behavior. She serves as ad hoc reviewer for the International Journal of Advertising, the Journal of Advertising, and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and for the submissions of the most prominent conferences in the field of marketing and communication.

Paul Cording

Paul is part of the Vodafone Group Public Policy Consumer Services team that has responsibility within Vodafone for Child Online Protection and Digital Resilience policies and best practice. His involvement over the last 10 years has included the development and implementation of Vodafone parental controls, the launch of the Digital Parenting website and its sister magazine, and the Be Strong Online modules and emoji. Find out more at

Paul has represented Vodafone at UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) Board meetings, the European Commission’s CEO Coalition to make the internet a better place for kids, the ICT Coalition for Children Online Steering Group, the recently-formed Alliance to better protect minors online, ENABLE (European Network Against Bullying in Learning and Leisure Environments) and he has been the Chair of the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) Funding Council since 2014.

Verónica Donoso

Verónica Donoso (PhD) is INHOPE Executive Director. INHOPE is the global umbrella organisation uniting national internet hotlines engaged in combating online child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
Verónica has more than 13 years of academic and professional experience in the field of children and child internet safety, and is a strong advocate for the need to better protect and empower children online through effective and coordinated multi-stakeholder approaches. Through her career, Verónica has advised a number of institutions including the European Commission, UNICEF, the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) and the World Federation of Advertisers. She has developed methodologies to assess the compliance of industry-based self-regulatory initiatives such as the Safer Social Networking Principles for the EU and the EU Pledge.
She currently serves on the International Advisory Board of the WePROTECT Global Alliance and on the Advisory Board of the EU-funded MANDOLA project on monitoring and detecting hate speech.

Martin Drechsler

Martin Drechsler is Managing Director of FSM (Association for Voluntary Self-Regulation of Digital Media Service Providers). He studied law at Humboldt University Berlin and FernUniversität Hagen, and previously worked as a lawyer in Berlin. Since joining FSM in 2008, he has focused on legal and technical questions of child protection on the internet. He is responsible for the FSM age classification system ( and advises FSM members about age rating, labelling of web content and the use of parental controls. Martin also coordinates FSM’s international activities. He gives lectures on child protection and media law. Martin was appointed Deputy Managing Director of FSM in 2013 and has been Managing Director since September 2016.

Chris Felton

Chris Felton has been a civil servant for over 20 years and has a wide range of policy and operational experience from his time at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office and Charity Commission, and from time outside government working in government relations for Universities UK, the representative body for the heads of the UK’s universities. Chris is also a Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London and a trustee of the Marie Collins Foundation, a charity working to tackle online child sexual exploitation. Chris has a BA(Hons) in Medieval Studies from the University of Manchester and an MBA from Warwick Business School. He is also an alumnus of the Singularity University in California and was a judge for the 2016 Government Innovation Challenge.
Chris currently works for the Home Office in London running a programme of national exercises which test the UK’s response to disruptive events. In 2015, he led work to ensure that all UK police forces were connected to and using the Child Abuse Image Database (CAID), a system which helps law enforcement to identify the victims of sexual abuse and bring those who make, share and download the images to justice, as well as assisting industry’s efforts to remove the images of abuse from the internet. CAID won the Government’s 2015 Innovation Challenge against more than 50 other nominations from across the civil service. Chris has presented this work on CAID to international audiences, such as at the 2015 WePROTECT international summit in Abu Dhabi and to representatives of the Chilean government and law enforcement in Santiago.

Before his work on CAID, Chris was seconded to the Cabinet Office’s Civil Contingencies Secretariat. In that role, he was responsible for producing strategic assessments of the risks facing the UK. He also led the UK’s work to make the UK’s critical national infrastructure more resilient to the effects of severe solar storms (along the lines of the 1859 Carrington event) and volcanic eruptions in Iceland. Before being seconded to the Cabinet Office, Chris’s roles included being Private Secretary to the Home Secretary and Head of Assurance for the safety and security programme for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Will Gardner

Will Gardner is the CEO of Childnet, a children’s charity working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. Will has been at Childnet since 2000 and has been the CEO since 2009.

He is a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, in which Childnet is a partner alongside two other charities, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and, in this role, Childnet organises Safer Internet Day (SID) in the UK. He is a member of the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), and is also on Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board.

Will lives in London with his wife and their five children.

Copyright Adam Hollingworth Photography
Reproduced by kind permission of Childnet International

Patrick Geary

Patrick Geary is a children's rights and business specialist at the UNICEF headquarters in Geneva, where he focuses on legal and public policy advocacy. He has been an international children’s rights advocate for over a decade, and has worked for and with a wide range of companies, government institutions and civil society organisations.
Patrick is also the managing editor of forthcoming publications on children's rights and business in a digital world, which will include in-depth explorations of privacy and data collection, freedom of expression and the right to information, and non-discriminatory access and digital literacy. 

Arda Gerkens

Arda Gerkens is managing director at the Expertisebureau Online Childabuse (the Dutch hotline) and Member of the Dutch Senate. She is also the chairwomen of the Commission Economical Affairs of the Senate. In May 2016, she became President of INHOPE, the member organisation for all hotlines in the world.
Arda was a member of Parliament from 2002 to 2010 for the Socialist Party. During these years she was spokeswomen on IT-related issues, justice, economy, infrastructure and was a Vice-President of the Parliament. In Senate, she is spokeswomen on education, culture, science, economic affairs and IT-related issues,  and she is Group Vice Chairman of her party.
Arda has two children and lives in Haarlem, The Netherlands.

Javier Hernández-Ros

Javier Hernández-Ros carried out studies in civil engineering and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He joined the European Commission in 1986 and was involved in technology transfer and innovation policies.
From June 2002 to December 2010, he was Head of Unit ‘Access to Information’, promoting legal initiatives to support the development of the digital content industry, notably the ‘Directive on the re-use of public sector information’. He was responsible for the e-Content and the Safer Internet Programmes for the period 2002-2005.
In January 2011, Javier took over as Head of Unit ‘Cultural Heritage and Technology Enhanced Learning’, responsible for research and innovation actions in the domains of technology enhanced learning, digital preservation and ICT for access to cultural resources.
In July 2012, the Directorate General underwent a reorganisation and he now heads the Creativity Unit within the DG for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). It provides research and innovation funding for the creative and cultural industries and promotes policies for the digitisation and on-line accessibility of Europe's cultural heritage. Following a further reorganisation of the Directorate General in July 2016, he was appointed Acting Director of the Data Directorate.

Karl Hopwood

Karl Hopwood is an independent eSafety expert. He is a member of UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) and works extensively with schools to support children and young people in developing safer online behaviours as well as to promote digital literacy. In the past he has worked with the European Commission, the UN (ITU), CEOP, Becta and the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) as well as with several local authorities within the UK.
Karl has been employed for the last nine years as an in-house consultant for the eSafety team at European Schoolnet (EUN) where he is responsible for the coordination of the Insafe Helpline network. He is also a trustee of Childnet International and is chair of the board of the Marie Collins Foundation.

Liselot Hudders

Liselot Hudders is an assistant professor at the departments of Communication Sciences and Marketing at Ghent University, Belgium. She teaches courses on consumer behaviour, communication management and marketing communication. Her research interests include persuasive communication, consumer behaviour and advertising literacy. Her research focus is on how materialism and luxury consumption, green consumption practices, and food consumption may contribute to an individual's happiness (both for children and adults). In addition, she investigates how children and youngsters cope with (new) advertising techniques and how their advertising literacy can be improved. She has published, among others, in the International Journal of Advertising, the Journal of Advertising, Appetite, and the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Bruno Jakic

Bruno Jakic is an engineer, scientist, published author and entrepreneur in the field of Artificial Intelligence. His current work and interests include (‘Big’) data, (predictive) analytics and (serious) gaming. Additionally, he has a strong, long-standing interest in cryptography/secure communications and the intersection between technology and society.

Vernon Jones

Vernon Jones BA (Hons) MA is the Head of Safety at MovieStarPlanet ApS, a Danish company that produces social interactive games and apps for children. As a registered social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council in the UK and the Danish Association of Social Workers, he has over 20 years’ experience in working with child protection and online child safeguarding issues. This includes working with online child safeguarding issues in NGO and statutory child safeguarding agencies in Denmark and the UK.

Vernon was a member of the thematic network POSCON - Positive Online Content and Services for Children in Europe - which brought together institutions, organisations and companies from all over Europe to further improve knowledge about positive online content for children.

Nelli Kongshaug

Nelli Kongshaug is project manager for the Red Cross helpline for children and youth in Norway, and has been working there since 2007. She is interested in the voice of youth and in giving young people space for speech and to be listened to.
Nelli travels around Norway speaking to both children and adults about online issues, focusing on both sides of the use of technology and how it affects day-to-day life.
By moderating forum threads on the helpline webpage, the ‘harmful but not illegal’ aspect is present every day in Nelli’s work. Is it possible to make guidelines for content online, and will they work? And how can we work with young people to find good solutions? These are just some of the questions which Nelli is interested in.

Eric Krier

Eric Krier studied sociology at the University of Augsburg, Germany and worked on European youth projects in parallel, so that before the end of the last millennium (the times of mIRC and ICQ), ICT quickly became a common part of his work and life. Since 2002, he has been working for the National Youth Service ( in Luxembourg, where currently he is in charge of the department called ‘Youth work support’.
Since 2010 he has acted as brand manager for the BEE SECURE project, a governmental initiative of the ministries of Economy, Education, Children and Youth and Family. This projects regroups staff from SNJ, SMILE g.i.e. and ‘KannerJugendTelefon’ (the child helpline). Besides the national portal, a separate toolset for kids was developed in 2012 ( Currently, he is developing a national project on eSkills, together with relevant partners.

Ľuboš Kukliš

Ľuboš Kukliš studied at the Law Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava. Since 2006, he has served as Chief Executive at the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission of Slovakia. He is the Council’s representative in the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA), where he also chairs ERGA’s Taskforce on the Protection of Minors. In the field of media and administrative law, he is also active in lecturing and writing - most recently the Electronic Media Regulation (Wolters Kluwer, 2015) and the Slovak Broadcasting Act – A Commentary (Wolters Kluwer, 2016).

Eva Lievens

Eva Lievens is Assistant Professor of Law & Technology at the Law Faculty of Ghent University, Belgium and a member of the Human Rights Centre. From 2003 until 2015, she was a member of the KU Leuven Centre for IT and IP Law (CiTiP, previously the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law & ICT). A recurrent focus in her research relates to human and children's rights in the ICT and media sector and the use of alternative regulatory instruments, such as self- and co-regulation.
Eva is a member of the Chamber for impartiality and the protection of minors of the Flemish Regulator for the Media and the Belgian Film Evaluation Committee. She is the associate editor for the International Encyclopaedia of Laws - Media Law (with Prof. Peggy Valcke), a member of the editorial committee of Auteurs & Media (Larcier), and a contributor for Belgium for the European Audiovisual Observatory's IRIS newsletter.

Marco Marsella

Marco Marsella is Head of Unit ‘Learning, Multilingualism and Accessibility’ in the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) of the European Commission. 
The unit supports policy, research, innovation and deployment of learning technologies and key enabling digital language technologies and services to allow all European consumers and businesses to fully benefit from the Digital Single Market. The unit is responsible for the Web Accessibility Directive which aims to make public sector websites and mobile applications accessible to people with impairments. The unit also promotes a better internet for children by protecting and empowering children online, and improving the quality of content available to them.
He has worked on policy development, innovation and research implementation in the areas of digital content, technologies for learning, e-inclusion, assistive technologies and better internet for kids. Prior to joining the European Commission, Marco worked as researcher and AI (artificial intelligence) specialist in Italy.

Hans Martens

Hans Martens (PhD) is Digital Citizenship Team and Programme Manager at European Schoolnet (EUN). Within this context, Hans coordinates the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs), while leading the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) project which implements, on behalf of the European Commission, a comprehensive range of digital tools and services that help make the internet a trusted environment for children through actions that empower and protect them online, sharing knowledge, resources, and practices. Hans’s team is involved in a variety of other campaigns, partnerships, platforms and projects, including, the eSkills 2015-2016 campaign, the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, the European Coding Initiative, the eSafety Label, the Web We Want, and I-LINC.
Hans has a background in research and teaching, combined with an advisory role in various Flemish, European and American media literacy networks and projects.

João Pedro Martins

João Pedro Martins is a 19-year-old computer engineering student at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. He has been a Youth Ambassador for approximately five years.
Born in Portugal, João Pedro was one of the first members from outside Lisbon to join the youth panel of his national Safer Internet Centre (SIC). After attending a Safer Internet Forum (SIF) in Luxembourg in 2011 representing his country, he was invited to be a Youth Ambassador. Since then, he has attended various seminars - one of them in Paris at the headquarters of Vivendi, and another one in Cachan. He also attended the launch of the WebWeWant handbook at the European Parliament, and participated in another SIF, this time in Brussels.
Throughout the years, João Pedro has had the opportunity both to share and learn about online safety issues, as well as to get to know lots of interesting people from all around the world.

Neil Melhuish

Neil Melhuish is the Director of Policy at NetSafe, Aotearoa - New Zealand. Before joining NetSafe he worked in the education sector where his interest in the potential of digital technology for learning was ignited. Around the same time, Neil’s experiences on the periphery of a serious ‘cybersafety’ incident sparked a parallel interest in the challenges accompanying the use of technology that has continued through to his current role.
Working at the interface between NetSafe and its government partners, Neil provides expert advice on the role and impact of digital technology in the lives of children, young people, family and whanau (extended family).
Neil played a key role in preparing NetSafe for its appointment earlier this year to a statutory role under New Zealand’s Harmful Digital Communications Act. In this role, NetSafe will use advice, negotiation, mediation and persuasion to resolve complaints about harm caused to individuals by digital communications.

Christel Mercadé

Christel Mercadé is a lawyer specialised in EU fundamental rights. Since 2014, she has worked for the European Commission in DG Justice as a legal/policy officer on EU policy combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, enforcement of EU legislation and protection of EU fundamental rights. Before joining the Commission, she served as an external legal consultant for the Commission in Tipik Legal (2014), as a human rights lawyer before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the Peruvian NGO APRODEH (2011-2012) and as labour lawyer at the Spanish law firm Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves, Pereira (2008-2011). Her educational background includes a degree in Economics (2006), a degree in Law (2009) at the University Pompeu Fabra (Spain) and University of Leicester (UK), and a Master of European Law (LL M) at the College of Europe, Bruges (2013). She is a member of the Barcelona Bar Association. 

Rachel O’Connell

Dr Rachel O’Connell is CEO of Trust Elevate. Trust Elevate's mission is to enable the better protection of children and young people's rights to safety, privacy and participation online. Rachel is one of the preeminent authorities on electronic identification and age verification, and author of a technical standard entitled PAS 1296 Age Checking Code of Practice*. Dr O'Connell advises a range of organisations, including online businesses that serve children and young people, children's rights advocacy groups and charities on the challenges and opportunities associated with new and emerging legislation, programmes of education, technology and policy innovations designed to enhance child safety online. Dr O'Connell is particularly focused on the role of age checking in enabling compliance with the provisions of both Article 8 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).
Rachel’s PhD examined online paedophile activity and the implications for investigative strategies and she ran the first UK Internet Safety Centre (2000- 2006), funded by the European Commission, based at the Cyberspace Research Unit, University of Central Lancashire.
*The British Standards Institution (BSI) Limited facilitated the development of the PAS (Publicly Available Specification), which is due for publication in February 2017.

Kira O’Connor

As Twitter’s EMEA Safety Outreach, Kira O’Connor works to define policy and ensure user safety and security in the challenging realm of modern social media. Kira and the global team work around the clock to keep Twitter users safe by fighting online abuse including targeted harassments, child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and cyberbullying.


Kira joined Twitter in early 2013 as a part of the Media Partnerships team where she worked with government bodies, non-profit organisations and high profile individuals - helping them use Twitter effectively. Kira’s past experiences include policy at and LiveStrong, legal clerk and research assistant and, in a previous life, she was an on-air personality on both radio and TV.


Kira earned a BA in Media Studies and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Oregon School of Law. She is @KiraOConnor.

Anette Paavilainen

Anette Paavilainen is a commissioned police officer from the Finnish Police. She has wide experience in criminal intelligence and international cooperation. She has worked for almost seven years for Europol as a specialist in crimes against children, her main projects including transnational child sex offending, victim identification efforts, and a wide variety of LE operational cooperation in the area of CSE (child sexual exploitation).
Prior to Europol, Anette worked for the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), as adviser on crimes against children and trafficking in human beings in strategic police matters, including development and training projects. In Finland, she was a member of national steering group on THB (trafficking in human beings). She is also experienced in counter terrorism, facilitation of illegal migration and legal oversight.

Maaike Pekelharing

Since 2007, Maaike Pekelharing has been working for the Dutch Knowledge Institute for Online Child Sexual Abuse (previously Meldpunt Kinderporno). The organisation consists of several programmes of which the hotline against child sexual abuse and the helpline on online sexual abuse are two. The work for the hotline consists of analysing child sexual abuse material. The Dutch hotline receives tens of thousands of reports per year and this amount still grows. Maaike also coordinates the helpline: a helpline for children, youngsters and their educators who have become a victim of online sexual abuse. The reports differ from girls who have been victims of sexting to boys who have been blackmailed after they have had webcam sex with someone they didn’t know. Together with her colleagues, Maaike advises the reporters what they can do.

Before working for the hotline, Maaike worked for the Dutch Ministry of Justice first as a policymaker on juvenile delinquency and later as a secretary for the Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles, both in The Hague. Maaike studied Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam.

Professor Derek Perkins

Professor Derek Perkins, BSc, MSc, PhD, AFBPsS is a Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, based at Broadmoor Hospital in the UK. He has worked in sex offender assessment and treatment in prison, community and forensic mental health settings and is regularly instructed in criminal proceedings involving sexual and homicide offences.
He is a Professor of Forensic Psychology at Royal Holloway University of London, a Trustee of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, co-director with Dr Hannah Merdian (University of Lincoln) of the onlinePROTECT research group on internet-related sexual offending, and a co-founder of the international working group on best practice in the management of online sexual offending.

Guðný Rós

Guðný Rós is 18 years old and lives in a small town in Iceland. She is currently in the last year of her secondary education. In 2013, she joined the SAFT youth panel, which stands for a community of family and technology. The youth panel are working towards creating a safer internet, and seek to educate kids about communication on the internet. For the last two years, the youth panel has taken part in the No Hate Speech Movement which is a project which aims to lessen the hate speech, racism and discrimination that we see people use online.
Guðný has been very active in the youth panel for the last three years. She has participated in a few conferences, has given a lecture in schools about communication on the internet, and has also delivered a hate speech game in schools for the last two years.

Kate Russell

Journalist, reporter and author, Kate Russell has been writing about technology and the internet since 1995. Appearing regularly on BBC technology programme Click, she is also a partnered Twitch streamer and speaks regularly at conferences and lectures in schools and universities, inspiring the next generation of technologists. Her website,, won the 2015 UK Blog Awards for best individual digital and technology blog and, in June 2016, she was voted the Computer Weekly 13th most influential woman in UK IT. Her debut novel was published in 2014 under official licence to space trading game, Elite: Dangerous, the childhood passion that inspired her love of technology. As part of the licensing deal she got to name a planet in the latest game release of Elite: Dangerous. She called it Slough.

María Sánchez

María Sánchez graduated in Law and International Relations in 2005 from the Comillas Pontifical University of Madrid, Spain. After short-term periods working at the Embassy of Spain to the Netherlands and at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), María joined Europol in October 2006, where she has been active in different functions and departments. She is currently part of the Outreach and Support team of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), where she has worked since November 2012. As the prevention and communication officer, María is responsible for the preparation of educational material related to cybercrime, as well as the coordination and development of joint law enforcement prevention and awareness campaigns and initiatives in the areas of high-tech crimes, payment fraud and child sexual exploitation, both within the EU and beyond. In this domain, María is the EC3 contact point for Europol’s cooperation with partners, from both the public and private sectors.

Martin Schmalzried

Martin Schmalzried holds a Master’s Degree from the ULB (Brussels) in Political Science and is a licensed sociology teacher in upper secondary education. He has been working at COFACE (Confederation of Family Organisations in the EU) as a Policy Officer for over five years.

His areas of expertise include safer internet and new technologies. He has been involved in a number of EU projects and initiatives linked with safer internet. 

Martin is currently the chair of the SIP BENCH III project (review of parental control tools), a member of the POSCON (Positive Online Content and Services for Children in Europe) network and represents parents and families in DG CONNECT meetings such as the CEO and the ICT Coalitions. He was also responsible for the policy content of the #DeleteCyberbullying project.

He has supervised the development of a variety of tools such as Nutri-médias which aims at raising awareness of parents regarding advertising and nutrition and the #DeleteCyberbullying app that is designed to help teenagers, parents and teachers to deal with cyberbullying.

Rehana Schwinninger-Ladak

Rehana Schwinninger-Ladak was appointed deputy Head of the Unit ‘Learning, Multi-linguism and Accessibility’ in October 2016. The Unit’s mission is to make the Digital Single Market more accessible, secure and inclusive. To this end, the Unit supports policy, research, innovation and deployment of learning technologies and key enabling digital language technologies and services allowing all European consumers and businesses to fully benefit from the Digital Single Market. The Unit is responsible for the Web Accessibility Directive, which makes public sector websites accessible by people with impairments. The Unit also promotes a better internet for children by protecting and empowering children online, and improving the quality of content available to them.

She has been working for the European Commission since 2007. In her previous position, Rehana was the political assistant of the Director in charge of the development and follow-up of the European regulatory framework on audiovisual media and the European Big Data Strategy. Rehana was closely involved in the review of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), adopted by the European Commission on 25 May 2016, the Commission's strategy on Data called ‘Towards a thriving data-driven economy’ and the setting up of the European Public Private Partnership on Big Data Value.

Rehana holds a degree in finance and economics and a Master’s Degree in actuarial science from the Université Catholique de Louvain.

Michael Sheath

Michael Sheath qualified as a Probation Officer in the UK in 1988, and worked with sexual offenders in group and individual settings in prison and the community for a decade thereafter.

He has worked for the Lucy Faithfull Foundation for 19 years, primarily in the Family Courts, where he has conducted assessments of both convicted and alleged sexual offenders and their partners in family proceedings. Between 2009 and 2015 he engaged in conducting whole-community risk assessments in British Overseas Territories, and has visited Pitcairn, Ascension Island, Montserrat, St Helena and the Falkland Islands in order to provide advice about the management of sexual offenders and issues relating to public education and prevention strategies.

He has been working with men who use the internet to acquire child abuse imagery since 1995, has undertaken published research on online groomers and undertook, in 2013/14, a Professional Certificate in Counselling relating to sex addiction. He has spoken at conferences and training events organised by INTERPOL and Europol in relation to understanding the behaviours of sexual offenders who use the internet to acquire and distribute child abuse imagery.

Krisztina Stump

Krisztina Stump is Deputy Head of Unit of the Audiovisual & Media Policy Unit, in Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) of the European Commission. 

She holds Master of Law degrees with a focus on Media Law and Intellectual Property from Columbia Law School (2010) and from Humboldt University (2003). She graduated in Law from the ELTE University in Budapest in 2001 and obtained there also a Master's in Communication and Media Studies in 2002. 

She joined the European Commission in 2011. Formerly, from 2005 until 2010, she was working at the Research Department of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Her experience prior to joining the EU Institutions includes work at the legal department of the Hungarian Radio and Television Commission, the legal department of MTM-SBS Television and at the Andrási Law Firm in Budapest.

Ewa Thorslund

Ewa Thorslund is Director at the Swedish Media Council. She was formerly a public affairs expert for the Swedish IT and Telecom industries and Head of Department at the National Swedish Board for Industrial and Technical Development.
Ewa holds a Master of Science degree in Business and Economics from Uppsala university, and has published a number of books relating to online child protection.
Additionally, she serves as a board member for a number of organisations including Surfa Lugnt (a private- public partnership for child protection on the internet), Miljöstyrningsrådet (a governmental body for sustainable procurement) and El-Kretsen (responsible for recycling and disposal of electronic waste in Sweden (WEEE-directive (2002/96/EG)).

Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen

Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen, M.Soc.Sc., is a social psychologist, cognitive therapy (CT) psychotherapy student (2013 - June 2017) and a health care professional. She works as an advisor at Save the Children Finland, Children and Digital Media Unit. Her area of expertise is online child protection, transnational crimes especially relating to sexual exploitation and abuse of children through digital media.
Nina has been working with adolescent crime victims for more than six years and has been responsible for training professionals working with crime victims and traumatised children. She has written several articles about child maltreatment, especially sexual crimes and abuse. She also trains professionals working with sexual offenders at the Criminal Sanctions Agency and Forensic Psychiatric wards.

Marc van der Ham

Marc van der Ham joined Google's EU policy team in December 2013. He recently moved to the EMEA Policy Strategy team in London to lead on consumer issues, ads standards and child safety.

Before joining Google, Marc worked as an adviser on foreign policy, international trade and technology in the European Parliament for a Liberal MEP. He holds a law degree from the University of Leiden and graduated in EU competition law and philosophy of law.