LIBE Committee report on child sexual abuse online

11 July- The Parliamentary Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) debates draft report on child sexual abuse online.

The parliamentary committee LIBE has debated a report on child sexual abuse online in relation to directive 2011/93/EU. Ms Corazza Bildt (EPP, Sweden), rapporteur for this report, began by hailing the achievements of the directive, including creating clear minimum standards, defining sanctions and developing measures to prevent abuse and impunity, as well as offering support to victims.

However, she outlined that there were some improvements to be made. These include the requirement to extend criminal law on child abuse, a lack of monitoring and supervision of uploaded content by member states, while investigatory powers must be co-ordinated better ad extended further, and preventative measures must go further. Greater emphasis must also be placed on support measures for victims, including protection of their privacy, to avoid ‘double-victimisation’. Removal and blocking of illicit content must become more effective and systematic.

Shadow rapporteur for S&D group Miriam Dalli demanded a change in wording in the report to replace all instances of ‘child pornography’ to ‘child sexual abuse’, a wording which she felt better represented the crimes of which the victims have suffered. She also noted that blocking of content in member states was not a satisfactory measure, as blocking does not guarantee that the content will not be viewed in other geographical locations – she therefore called for a greater emphasis on removal of content to avoid that victims suffer a ‘revictimisation’.  This point was echoed by shadow rapporteur for ALDE group Nathalie Griesbeck (France), who also stressed the removal and take-down of content over blocking of content.

Corazza Bildt thanked her shadow rapporteurs for their comments and committed to making the changes to the wording of child pornography, as well as emphasising the need to remove content over blocking.

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child protection, children and internet