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Migration and Home Affairs

Legal framework to protect children

The strategy will ensure that existing EU rules are fully implemented, particularly Directive on combating sexual abuse and exploitation of children. In 2019, the Commission was compelled to open infringements procedures against 23 EU countries for non-compliance with implementing the directive. They followed the publication of two reports in 2016, which provided an overview on the progress made and showed that the Directive had not yet reached its full potential through complete implementation by the EU countries.

The Commission will address possible gaps in the current laws, starting with a study to identify the remaining issues, as well as best practices and priority measures to tackle them.

An interim Regulation to ensure that providers of online communications services can continue their voluntary practices to detect and report child sexual abuse online and remove child sexual abuse material was adopted in 2021.

According to Article 7 of the Regulation, providers are obliged to communicate to the Commission the names of organisations acting in the public interest to which they report online child sexual abuse. Under Article 3, they are also obliged to submit a report on the processing of personal data under this Regulation. To communicate the required information, or ask for more information, please use the address:

According to the information received by the Commission, online service providers report to the National Center for Missing Exploited Children (NCMEC).

On 11 May, the European Commission proposed a Regulation on preventing and combatting the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. This new legislation aims to help EU countries to:

  • detect and report child sexual abuse online
  • prevent child sexual abuse
  • support victims

More information is available on the dedicated webpage.