EU Strategy to fight child sexual abuse - Part 1
As part of the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), Denton Howard, Executive Director of INHOPE, chaired a multi-stakeholder panel with experts from hotlines, law enforcement agencies, industry, the European Commission, and online child safety stakeholders discussing how they see their sector collaborating to support the effective delivery of the EU Strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse.
To achieve what it sets out to do, this strategy requires collaborative action from all stakeholders. “Without it, this strategy is just an empty shell… INHOPE are among the key players to turn this strategy into deeds” - Representative from the European Commission, SIF 2020
To make sure this conversation continues outside of SIF and enable everyone to get involved, we will be explaining each point of the strategy and what it means for those working in the sector in an eight-part mini-series.
1. Ensure complete implementation of current legislation (Directive 2011/93/EU)
In 2011, the EU adopted a Child Sexual Abuse Directive (2011/93/EU). The first of its kind, the directive makes requirements for how criminal offences and their relevant sanctions should be defined. It also covers the prevention, investigation and prosecution of offences, as well as assistance to and protection of victims.
Ensuring a complete implementation of the current legislation will be a focus for the EC moving forward. Substantial progress has been made already, but challenges remain in the areas of prevention, criminal law, and assistance and support for child victims.
At the time of writing, the INHOPE Network included hotlines in 26 of the 27 Member States, as well hotlines in a further 26 countries outside of the EU. As per the INHOPE Code of Practice, hotlines work closely with local law enforcement agencies and always within their national jurisdiction. This makes them heavily dependent on good criminal law within their country of practice.
The INHOPE network has various internal communication channels allowing us to support hotlines in awareness raising for improvements to national legislation but there is still more to be done. INHOPE fully supports the focus on criminal law and looks forward to the progress made in Member States.
Do you know how Child Sexual Abuse Material is defined in your country? At what age, for example, is someone no longer considered a child?
We encourage you to learn more about what to report at your national hotline.
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