EU Takes Action to Combat Rising Threat of Child Sexual Abuse, Proposes Stronger Criminal Law Rules

Brussels, Belgium – The European Union (EU) is taking steps to strengthen its laws and combat the growing threat of child sexual abuse, both online and offline. In 2022 alone, 1.5 million children in the EU fell victim to this heinous crime. Recognizing the urgent need for change, the EU Commission has proposed updates to the existing laws surrounding child sexual abuse and exploitation. These reforms aim to address the distressing reality that one in five children in the EU have experienced some form of sexual violence.

One crucial aspect of the proposed changes is the expansion of the definition of criminal offenses related to child sexual abuse across all EU Member States. This expansion will encompass offenses such as livestreaming of child sexual abuse. Additionally, the measures emphasize the need to strengthen both prosecution and support for victims. By granting victims a longer timeframe to report sexual abuse, offering financial compensation rights, and providing more comprehensive support to child victims and adult survivors, the EU hopes to empower and protect those affected by these crimes.

Recognizing the importance of prevention, the EU is also prioritizing the strengthening of prevention programs and raising awareness, particularly regarding online risks. Member States are urged to invest more resources in these areas to better safeguard children. Furthermore, recruiters hiring individuals for positions involving close contact with children or for organizations combating child sexual abuse will be required to thoroughly check the criminal records of potential candidates. This additional measure aims to ensure the utmost safety and security for vulnerable children.

These proposed reforms come in the wake of alarming statistics on child sexual abuse in the EU. By addressing the shortcomings of current laws and implementing stronger criminal law rules, the EU hopes to provide new impetus in the fight against child sexual abuse. The Commission’s efforts align with the broader EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the European Child Guarantee, reaffirming the EU’s commitment to protecting and promoting the wellbeing of its young citizens.

To learn more about the EU’s fight against child sexual abuse and the specific proposals for stronger criminal law rules, interested individuals can visit the provided links for additional information. As the EU takes a crucial step forward in its battle against this grave issue, it is clear that decisive action is essential to protect the vulnerable and ensure a safer future for all children.