As global reports of child abuse rapidly increase, more than 70 child rights organisations have signed an open letter supporting the EU’s proposed law to protect children from sexual abuse. The letter called the law ‘timely and historic, not just for Europe but for the world.’
Major European and international organisations that strive for children’s safety and security have supported the proposed law on preventing and combating child sexual abuse. These include Missing Children Europe, Eurochild, the German Children’s Fund, ECPAT International, Thorn, and many more.
In their letter, the organisations identified the law as ‘a critical step toward better protection of children’s rights.’ They also welcomed the creation of an independent EU Centre for combating and preventing child sexual abuse.
The letter further stated:
We also commend the general obligation to assess risks and adopt prevention measures […], hence supporting safety by design. Creating a new system of transparency between technology and users will foster meaningful and measurable action to tackle child sexual abuse material.
Iain Drennan, Executive Director at WeProtect Global Alliance, said:
As our latest Global Threat Assessment shows, children today face a sustained threat of child sexual exploitation and abuse online. Legislation like the one that the EU proposed is crucial to protect children online. It does this by focusing on preventing online harm from happening in the first place and bringing offenders to justice.
About the proposed legislation
The proposed Regulation was launched by Commissioner Johansson on 11 May 2022. This law makes it mandatory for tech companies to assess the risk of misuse of their services for child sexual abuse. If justified, the companies may be required to detect, report and remove child sexual abuse material. They will also be required to detect and report cases of grooming. This will end the practice of these actions being left mostly to tech companies’ discretion.
- Publication date
- 15 July 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs