Child protection on the Internet

In December 2003, the Council adopted the Framework decision on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

In December 2011, the Parliament and the Council adopted the Directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

In December 2012, the Commission published the Declaration on the Launch of the Global Alliance against child sexual abuse online. In the annex to the declaration, the goals and potential actions for each policy target is explained.


Amelia’s first question in this subject is if the Commission could provide her with statistic at its disposal on investigations for publishing or accessing child abuse material on the internet. She also wants to know whether or not the Commission has such statistics and, if not, which Member States that has not made these data available. The Commission answered that the Member States are under no obligation to report the number of investigations or prosecutions for the offences of distribution, dissemination or transmission of child sexual abuse material.

The next question is about which information the framework decision and the directive is based on, if there is no statistic from the Member States. The Commission answered that it is a well-established fact that children are sexually abused and that images of such abuse is produced, disseminated and viewed. According to them, it is also a fact that many of these images involve rape or torture of children and that most of the dissemination takes place on the Internet.

In the third question, Amelia quotes the annex to the Declaration on Launching the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online, where the phrase “system data” is used. She wants to know what “system data” specifically means in this context. The Commission explains that the operational goal in the Declaration is to encourage Internet providers to voluntarily employ targeted measures to find child sexual abuse images on their systems. The technology for this is already available and in use, and is exclusively used to find and report already known data.

The fourth question Amelia asked in this subject is about why the actively supports both the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, which allows the parts to choose if they are to criminalize procurement or possession of child abuse material, and the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse, which demands criminalization. The Commission answered that since no general agreement could be reached about the criminalization of procurement or possession of child abuse material, the convention includes the possibility for the parts to decide themselves.

In the fifth question, Amelia once again asks what evidence is being used to develop policy in the area of child abuse on the internet. The Commission said that they already answered this question twice but at the same time pointed out that they have a lack of consolidated statistics at the EU level on the number of investigations or prosecutions for child pornography offences. It is important to take act against child abuse online, despite the lack of detailed statistic in the area said the Commission.