This fact sheet describes Europol's core activities and projects related to combating sexual exploitation of children in 2011.
In 2010, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new Directive on combating sexual abuse, the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, following up on a previous proposal tabled in 2009, with the aim of replacing the Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA. The new Directive, if approved, will follow the Lanzarote (Spain), October 20071 Council of Europe “Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse” and is going to cover actions on the following different aspects:
- Criminal law: criminalisation of serious forms of child sexual abuse and exploitation currently not covered by EU legislation, with Articles 3 and 4 aiming at punishing the intentional conduct of recruiting or coercing a child into prostitution or into pornographic performances or profiting from or otherwise exploiting a child for such purposes, and establishing provisions that punish all the offences related to child pornography which already fall under the Europol mandate as listed in the Council Decision establishing the Europol Police Office, applicable from 1 January 2010.
- Developments in the IT environment: new forms of sexual abuse and exploitation facilitated by the use of the Internet would be criminalised (e.g. grooming or viewing child abusive material (CAM) without downloading the files).
- Criminal investigation and initiation of proceedings: a number of provisions would be introduced to assist with investigating offences and the bringing about of charges, in the absence of reporting by the child victim.
- Offences committed abroad: rules on jurisdiction would be amended to ensure that child sexual abusers or exploiters from the EU face prosecution, including if they commit their crimes in a non-EU country.
- Protection of victims: new provisions would ensure that abused children have easy access to legal remedies and do not suffer as a result of participating in criminal proceedings.
- Prevention of offences: special programmes should be accessible for offenders to prevent them from committing new offences. National mechanisms to block access to websites with child pornography, which are most often located outside the EU, should be put in place under the supervision of judicial services or the police.