Sexual abuse of children and child pornography

Sep 15 2010
The EESC
• strongly condemns all sexual abuse and exploitation of children and praises the Commission for strengthening Europe's commitment to fight child abuse by replacing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA with a new, more objective Directive;
• reiterates its call for those Member States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify, as a matter of urgency, the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and the Optional Protocol to the UN CRC on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography;
• agrees that it is important to have a legal framework to deal with the prosecution and sentencing of perpetrators of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, but believes that prevention must be paramount across Europe and be considered in parallel to legislation;
• recommends setting up a platform to exchange best practices in responding to these crimes, using both legislative and non-legislative mechanisms to develop methodological tools and training. This should include greater cooperation with civil society organisations, social partners and NGOs to support education and awareness raising at local level;
• calls on the EU institutions to put joint pressure on third countries, particularly in the well-developed parts of the world to demand the removal of websites which host child sexual abuse material. The EU needs to be stronger in demanding responsible action from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers);
• encourages Member States to use the opportunity presented by this new directive to open a debate on setting a minimum age of sexual consent across Europe;
• recommends that the Commission should provide clear definitions of certain terminology which could lead to ambiguities on transposition into national legislation;
• requests that the directive should provide for uniform "time limitations" across all Member States. Where appropriate the EESC would go further in suggesting that the "statute of limitations" should begin when the victim reaches the age of 18;
• recognises the commendable work of all the NGOs working around the world to protect children and praises the European institutions, the Council of Europe and the UN for providing legal mechanisms in the field of protection against child sexual exploitation.

Documents

Sexual abuse of children and child pornography


  • MAILING LIST SIGN-UP