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EU Directive adopted

December 21, 2011

The EU Directive on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography was adopted by the European Parliament and Council on 13 December 2011and has already entered into force.

The Directive replaces existing EU legislation and will become the most comprehensive piece of child protection legislation in Europe. Member states will have two years to transpose the directive. It will offer greater protection to children in the EU 27 through a range of measures, including:

– making it mandatory for member states to delete websites containing child abuse images hosted in the EU

– making online grooming a criminal offence

– measures to support child victims during investigations and legal proceedings

– minimum penalties for sexually abusing and exploiting children

eNACSO has been working closely with the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and both the Belgian and Polish presidencies to ensure a strong directive is adopted. In May 2010, we hosted a high level conference on the directive with EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström and Roberta Angelilli (Vice President of the European Parliament (EP) and responsible for the EP’s report on the directive). We also gave evidence at the EP’s hearing on the directive. Our NGO partners were Save the Children Europe Group, UNICEF, ECPAT Europe and Missing Children Europe.

eNACSO welcomes the directive, which will be an important test for EU member states to both demonstrate their commitment to protect children and ensure they meet their obligations under international law. Read the entire directive here.

In the time to come eNACSO members will be working actively to ensure the transposition of the Directive in home countries.

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