Procedure : 2015/2564(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0226/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 11/03/2015 - 9.18
CRE 11/03/2015 - 9.18
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


PDF 233kWORD 60k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0217/2015

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the fight against child sexual abuse on the internet (2015/2564(RSP))

Nathalie Griesbeck, Filiz Hyusmenova, Gérard Deprez, Petr Ježek, Cecilia Wikström, Javier Nart, Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, Dita Charanzová on behalf of the ALDE Group

B8‑0226/2015 European Parliament resolution on the fight against child sexual abuse on the internet (2015/2564(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, of 20 November 1989, and the protocols thereto,

–       having regard to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union,

–       having regard to Article 24 of the Charter on Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–       having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, of 23 November 2001,

–       having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, of 25 October 2007,

–       having regard to the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child,

–       having regard to Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA,

–       having regard to General Comment No 14 (2013) of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration,

–       having regard to the EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child, adopted in February 2011,

–       having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘A special place for children in EU external action’ (COM(2008)0055),

–       having regard to the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child,

–       having regard to the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012-2016, in particular the provisions on financing the development of guidelines on child protection systems and on the exchange of best practices,

–       having regard to its plenary debate of 12 February 2015 on the fight against child sexual abuse on the internet,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children, including child pornography, constitute serious violations of fundamental rights, in particular of the rights of children to the protection and care necessary for their well-being, as provided for by the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

B.     whereas serious criminal offences such as the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography require a comprehensive approach covering the prosecution of offenders, the protection of child victims and prevention of the phenomenon;

C.     whereas the child’s best interests must be a primary consideration when carrying out any measures to combat these offences, in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;

D.     whereas the internet can expose children to specific risks, through phenomena such as child pornography, the exchange of material on violence, cybercrime, intimidation, bullying, grooming, children being able to access or acquire legally restricted or age‑inappropriate goods and services, exposure to age-inappropriate, aggressive or misleading advertising, scams, identity theft, fraud and similar risks of a financial nature that can cause traumatic experiences;

E.     whereas the fight against child abuse on the internet should be integrated into a wider strategy addressing the overall phenomenon of child sexual abuse and exploitation, which still mainly relates to offline offences perpetrated through networks and individuals acting deliberately outside the internet area;

F.     whereas the protection of minors in the digital world must be addressed at a regulatory and grass-roots level by deploying more effective measures, including through law enforcement cooperation with the industry in line with the principles of shared responsibility and due legal process, and at educational and training level by training children, parents and teachers in order to prevent minors from accessing illegal content;

G.     whereas due to its international nature – with child exploitation and child sexual exploitation online spanning hundreds of countries and involving hundreds of legal jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies – this problem requires an international solution;

H.     whereas data available on the actual number of crimes committed is still lacking at both national and international level, leading to a policy assessment that does not necessarily reflect the extent of the problem;

I.      whereas child exploitation and child sexual exploitation online – including the proliferation of child sexual exploitation material on the internet and cyber predation – continues to be a major concern for law enforcement authorities, with offences ranging from sexual extortion and grooming to self-produced child abuse material and live streaming, which pose particular investigative challenges owing to technological innovations that provide easier and faster access to material for offenders, including cyber predators;

J.      whereas a growing number of offenders are using the Darknet where they have established anonymous communities using hidden forums, websites services, social networking platforms and storage providers dedicated to child abuse material;

K.     whereas the measures taken by Member States to prevent illegal online content are not always effective and inevitably involve differing approaches to the prevention of harmful content;

L.     whereas Directive 2011/92/EC on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography was due to be transposed by Member States by 18 December 2013, and whereas to date less than half of the Member States have fully implemented it;

1.      Strongly emphasises that protecting and ensuring a safe environment for children and their development is one of the primary roles of the European Union and its Member States;

2.      Considers that children’s personal data online must be duly protected and that children need to be informed in an easy and child-friendly way of the risks and consequences of using their personal data online;

3.      Stresses the need for a comprehensive EU-wide coordinated approach in order to ensure consistency in policy making and action, which encompasses the fight against crime, cybersecurity, consumer protection, fundamental rights and data protection, and e-commerce;

4.      Considers that further steps must be taken to combat cyber grooming, and that the Commission, together with national governments, civil society, social media companies, teachers, school nurses, social workers, child protection officers, paediatricians and youth and children’s organisations must play an active role in raising awareness on this issue through defined guidelines, including through the exchange of best practices and the setting up of social platforms for cooperation and lawful exchange of information on this matter in order to identify potential risks and threats to children;

5.      Highlights the need for international cooperation with the EU’s strategic partners and law enforcement authorities worldwide to fight against child sexual abuse on the internet; stresses the need to improve international cooperation and transnational investigations in this area through cooperation agreements and by facilitating lawful international law enforcement data exchange on these crimes and offenders, including through EUROPOL;

6.      Welcomes, in this connection, the joint initiative by the EU and 55 countries from around the world gathered in the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online aimed at rescuing more victims, ensuring more effective prosecution and achieving an overall reduction in the number of child sexual abuse images available online; invites the Commission to report more regularly on the progress made through this Alliance;

7.      Welcomes also the 2011 initiative taken by the Commission of establishing a coalition to make a better and safer internet for children, bringing together 31 of the biggest technology and media companies, and insists that this coalition should pursue and amplify its work;

8.      Calls on the Commission and the Member States to strengthen cooperation among law enforcement authorities, including through Europol and the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), with a view to investigating and dismantling child sex offender networks more effectively, while prioritising the rights and safety of the children involved;

9.      Believes it essential to use the correct terminology for crimes against children, including the description of images of sexual abuse of children, and to use the appropriate term child sexual abuse material’ rather than ‘child pornography’;

10.    Calls on the Commission and the Member States to foster and strengthen the resources dedicated to victim identification and victim-centred services, and call for the urgent setting up of related platforms;

11.    Strongly urges those Member States who have not yet fully transposed Directive 2011/92/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography to do so without any further delay; calls on the Commission therefore to strictly monitor its full and effective implementation, to report back in a timely manner to Parliament and in particular to its committee responsible on its findings;

12.    Recalls that Member States are required to take the necessary measures to ensure that people who fear that they might commit any of the offences related to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation have access, where appropriate, to effective intervention programmes or measures designed to evaluate and prevent the risk that such offences will be committed;

13.    Encourages Member States to establish national contact points to report criminal and harmful content and conduct;

14.    Calls on the Member States to provide their law enforcement authorities with the necessary funds, human resources, investigative powers and technical capabilities to seriously tackle and prosecute the offenders, including appropriate training to build capacity amongst judiciary and police units;

15.    Notes with concern the development and expanding trends of commercial sexual exploitation of children online, including new means of distribution and transaction for child abuse materials, notably through the Deep Web and Darknet, and in particular the phenomenon of live streaming of abuse for payment;

16.    Calls on the Commission and the Member States to further engage with representatives of alternative payment systems to determine opportunities for better cooperation with law enforcement authorities while respecting the principle of due legal process, including common training for the better identification of payment processes linked to commercial distribution of child abuse material;

17.    Calls for an effective partnership approach and lawful information exchange between law enforcement agencies, judicial authorities, the ICT industry, internet service providers (ISPs), the banking sector and non-governmental organisations, including youth and children’s organisations, with a view to guaranteeing the rights and protection of children online and regarding them as vulnerable persons under the law; calls on the Commission to take the initiative of asking all the Member States to take action to tackle all forms of cyber predation and cyber bullying;

18.    Stresses that measures limiting fundamental rights on the internet need to be necessary and proportionate, in line with Union and Member State legislation; recalls that illegal online content should be removed immediately on the basis of due legal process; highlights the role of the ICT and ISPs in ensuring fast and efficient removal of illegal online content;

19.    Instructs its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to further assess and monitor recent developments and to carry out an in-depth analysis of the current policy framework to fight against child sexual abuse on the internet, in the form of an implementation report on Directive 2011/92/EU, and to report to plenary within a year;

20.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the parliaments of the Members States.

Legal notice - Privacy policy