Child Helpline International is a signatory to a letter addressed to Members of the European Parliament and Representatives of Member States in the Council of the European Union, in support of the proposal for a Regulation currently being considered by the EU to prevent and combat child sexual abuse.
Major parts of the Regulation seek to make permanent, more transparent and accountable, child protection practices that have been carried out by a number of internet companies on a voluntary basis since at least 2009. The Regulation brings these child protection practices and the use of any associated technical tools within a clearly defined, transparent and accountable legal framework. The child protection practices referred to were specifically endorsed by the EU in the Temporary Derogation, agreed on 14 July, 2021. The Derogation expires on 3 August 2024.
If the Regulation does not complete its passage by 3 August 2024, there is a high degree of certainty that the continued use of child protection tools to detect child sexual abuse online in communication services will be banned across the EU. These are the very services most used by offenders to exchange child sexual
abuse material and groom children. The reports generated in this way account for at least 80% of all reports of child sexual abuse received within the EU. In 2022 that amounted to 1.5 million individual reports. If the Regulation is not
passed huge numbers of children will therefore be left exposed to or put in danger.
The reports are essential to find and prevent children from ongoing or imminent abuse, to prevent re-victimization through the continued circulation of still pictures or videos, and to help law enforcement apprehend offenders. If the reports are lost it will have terrible consequences for children not just in every EU Member State but also far beyond.
Please click on the link below to see the full content of this Letter of Support for the draft Regulation, including the list of signatories.