One in three internet users in Europe is younger than 18 years old, spending on average 6,5 hours online daily. But while the internet offers children endless opportunities to study, shop and meet online, it was never designed with children in mind, leaving them exposed and vulnerable to sexual abuse. On a daily basis, tremendous amounts of child sexual abuse material are produced and circulated online. Those contents have increased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic as Europol pointed out in several of their reports. Crimes of this nature are particularly severe in that the victims are children to whom it causes long-term physical and psychological harm.
Reviewing existing EU legislation on combating sexual exploitation of children and child pornography is necessary to reinforce safeguards, and tackle this crime in order to better protect young internet users. Children do not have a seat at the table when legislation is drafted, yet it is essential that their voice is heard in order to adequately tackle the challenges they face. Survivors of child sexual abuse, organisations working with the victims as well as law enforcement officials will be part of the discussion to correct design faults, take the interests of children into account and strengthen our collective response against this increasing crime.
16h00: Welcoming remarks by MEPs Hilde Vautmans, Shadow Rapporteur on the Proposal to prevent and combat child sexual abuse and Catharina Rinzema, Shadow Rapporteur on the IMCO Opinion to the Proposal to prevent and combat child sexual abuse
16H10: Keynote speech by Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for home affairs
16H30: Panel discussion: What is it at stake for children in the online world?
- Mié Kohiyama, co-chair of the EU Survivors Task Force, co-founder of Brave Movement France
- Franck Dannerolle, chef de l'Office central pour la répression des violences aux personnes (OCRVP)
- Amy Crocker, Head of Child Protection and Technology, ECPAT International
17H15: Q&A session
17H50: Conclusions by MEP Fabienne Keller, Quaestor of the European Parliament and Member of the LIBE committee
Followed by a cocktail reception in Grand Café Spinelli ASP 00 G.