International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Australia Ltd

ICMEC Australia News

Ground-breaking public-private partnership to protect children from sexual abuse

March 29, 2023

We are please to announce RedCompass Labs as the first of several recipients of our Child Protection Fund (CPF) grants.

Launched in July 2022, we established the CPF to support innovative data-driven approaches that help to reduce and prevent child sexual exploitation (CSE).

UK-based payments expert services company, RedCompass Labs specialises in the disruption of financial crime through investigation and analytics services. Their successful proposal to the Fund aims to provide Australian banks and other financial institutions with access to cutting-edge risk management insights relating to CSE. Using big data analysis, the online pilot, the Australian RedFlag Accelerator CSE Portal, will provide Australian financial institutions with additional localised intelligence to assist their work in the detection and reporting of CSE. Developing these localised insights and logic enhances the ability for financial institutions to detect crimes against children.

Paul Jevtovic, Chief Financial Crime Risk Officer & Executive MLRO, NAB says: “Keeping customers safe and criminals out of the financial system is a top priority for NAB and we are delivering data-driven approaches to combat financial crimes. The Child Protection Fund investment in the Australian RedFlags and Portal is a positive step to support critical efforts to combat exploitation. The project should further support the sharing of best-practice across the financial services sector.”

We first introduced the work of RedCompass Labs to Australian financial institutions crimes units in 2022.

“We received a lot of interest from our financial institution partners in the type of data that RedCompass Labs gathers and analyses,” says Anna Bowden, CEO ICMEC Australia.

“This encouraged RedCompass Labs to apply for our funding to be able to provide Australian-specific data and typologies for the first time to our financial institutions via an online portal.”

Our funding approach is catalytic, and outcomes focused. Funding strategies include grants, impact investing and, the approach with RedCompass Labs, venture philanthropy. Essentially operating as a pre-seed investment vehicle, the CPF identifies innovations with significant potential for impact that need initial support to deliver a pilot or proof of concept.

The incubator-style fund combines financial with non-financial support through our Partnerships and Data Products teams. This facilitates collaboration and product adoption by the organisation’s stakeholders and promotes the sustainability and scalability of these disruptive innovations.

“By covering the initial risk capital, we have facilitated access to multiple financial services companies – removing commercial limitations and significantly increasing the impact of the program.”

We have already established support from four of our partner Australian financial institutions, including three of the Big Four banks, to work closely with RedCompass Labs as they design and build the CSE portal.

“This collaboration will ensure that the project will deliver the data in accessible and usable formats and enhance bank processes when detecting this crime type within their transactions.”

The pilot with RedCompass Labs is one of several initiatives that we will facilitate in partnership with the major financial services institutions across Australia. Additional projects will include leveraging and collating data from a variety of internet sources, sponsoring the creation of a global best practices implementation manual in CSE investigation and ongoing initiatives such as the Collaboration Working Group, that brings together senior professionals in financial crime, law enforcement, regulation and child protection NGOs.

“This funding opportunity and partnership with ICMEC Australia is an incredible boost to our mission to disrupt child sexual exploitation. We look forward to leveraging our deep payments and data science expertise and working alongside ICMEC Australia and Australian banks to protect children from exploitation”, said Jonathan Bell, Partner and President, RedCompass Labs.

We will measure and review the successes of this pilot project with RedCompass Labs throughout the pilot phase. The results will help determine further opportunities to scale-up the portal access to more Australian financial institutions, with the ultimate aim to rollout availability to any financial institution in the Asia-Pacific region.

If you would like to know more about the Child Protection Fund please send an email to our Head of Impact, Tiphanie Au at

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