The European Parliament’s Intergroup welcomes yesterday’s political agreement on the Interim legislation regarding the detection of child sexual abuse online by online communications services.

 

Brussels, 30 April 2021

 

We welcome yesterday’s political agreement between the European Parliament negotiating team and the Council on the proposed interim legislation regarding the detection of child sexual abuse online by online communications services. 

It was of utmost importance to allow online communications services providers to continue – or resume – using specific voluntary technological tools to detect and report child sexual abuse online, as well as to remove child sexual abuse material. Throughout the years, these technological tools have proven instrumental to identify victims, help save children’s lives by bringing perpetrators to justice, and in some instances even in preventing the harm from happening in the first place.

In the midst of a pandemic that has disrupted millions of children’s lives in the EU – and globally – more than ever and where children’s presence online has skyrocketed – this agreement was long overdue. Recent figures from Europol and other organizations have clearly shown that children have been disproportionally exposed to fall victim of child sexual abuse online at the hands of sexual predators online.

With yesterday’s political agreement, children in the EU will be safer and perpetrators will be at a closer reach from being apprehended by law-enforcement authorities.

Children’s safety online should always be a priority and as legislators, it is our duty to provide the legal framework within which online communications services providers operate, in full respect of privacy and protection of personal data. In such a fast-paced environment, the fight against child sexual abuse online poses global challenges that know no borders and cooperation with the internet industry is essential to bring about a real change and put an end to these heinous crimes.

Let us not forget that the fight against child sexual abuse is far from being over and this is just an essential first step in the right direction. This temporary derogation gives more legal certainty and lays the ground for a more permanent solution, as the Commission is poised to propose later this year a new comprehensive legislation to fight child sexual abuse online and offline.

We stand ready to cooperate in the next steps to ensure the child’s safety is always the primary consideration in all decisions and legislation concerning them.

 

David Lega MEP, Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights

Hilde Vautmans MEP,  Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights

Caterina Chinnici MEP, Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights



Evin Incir MEP, Vice-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights

Antonio Lopez Isturiz MEP, Vice-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights, EPP Secretary General

Javier Moreno Sanchez MEP, Vice-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights, Head of the Spanish S&D Delegation in the European Parliament

 

– ENDS –

For more information and media inquires, please contact:

Emilio Puccio, Coordinator of the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights

E: emilio.puccio@europarl.europa.eu

T: +32 (0)2  28 38456

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