Today, the Network for Children’s Rights wrote to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis calling for Greece to support the proposed EU Regulation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse.
1 in 5 children in Europe are subject to sexual violence and abuse. Every second, at least 2 images or videos of child sexual abuse are shared online and 1 in every 3 reported child sexual abuse material features a child under the age of 10. Babies, toddlers and younger children, and children with disabilities, the most vulnerable of our society, are left at the hands of their offenders who use the internet to facilitate their crimes. Sexual violence against children online is a horrific crime where every image contains a victim who must live with the devastating reality of their abuse being recirculated for the pleasure of others. We need to act to end this scourge and pass legislation that will put a stop to it.
The EU is host to over 60% of the reported child sexual abuse material in the world. It is high time EU countries act to protect children against this serious breach of their fundamental rights. The EU has the opportunity to be a global leader tackling this epidemic by adopting a legislation on child sexual abuse proposed by the European Commission.
The proposal offers a proportionate, long-term solution and legal framework that allows automated technology to be safely used to detect child sexual exploitation and abuse online. Protecting children from harm online and respecting user privacy are not mutually exclusive. The tools in place to detect child sexual abuse material are specific and built for purpose, with strong built in safeguards, some of which are already being used today.