Commission proposes new measures to prevent and combat child sexual abuse
The European Commission proposes a number of measures to help EU Member States prevent and combat child sexual abuse. The Government informed Parliament of the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation by submitting a Union communication on 15 September.
Combating child sexual abuse is one of the Commission’s priorities. The aim of the proposal is to establish a clear and binding legal framework for combating and preventing sexual violence against children.
Until now, the prevention of child sexual abuse has been based on voluntary measures by companies. The Commission proposes imposing obligations on providers of relevant information society services (providers of hosting services and interpersonal communication services, for example) to detect and remove child sexual abuse material from their platforms. This could help not only to prevent re-victimisation of children subjected to sexual abuse and circulation of existing material but also to identify offenders and prosecute them.
The Commission also proposes that a new, independent EU Centre on Child Sexual Abuse be established. The proposal also includes an obligation for Member States to designate a national Coordinating Authority for child sexual abuse issues. The Coordinating Authority would be responsible for application and enforcement of the Regulation and for ensuring coordination of the work against child sexual abuse at national level.
According to the Commission, child sexual abuse has increased dramatically in recent years. This includes circulation of images and videos of child sexual abuse and solicitation of children (‘grooming’) as well as offline contacts with offenders.
Pekka Vasara, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 547, [email protected]