MEPs putting child pornographers’ rights ahead of abuse victims, claim campaigners | Society | The Observer: “MEPs putting child pornographers’ rights ahead of abuse victims, claim campaigners
Childrens’ charities attack move to inform child pornographers when images are removed from the internet
* Jamie Doward
* The Observer, Sunday 13 February 2011
* Article history
European MPs have been accused of putting the rights of child pornographers ahead of abused children after it emerged that they are to water down new laws, backed by the UK government, for curbing the dissemination of child abuse images [see footnote].
The European parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee (LIBE) will meet in Strasbourg tomorrow, when it is expected to approve a controversial measure that would compel EU member states to inform publishers of child pornography that their images are to be deleted from the internet or blocked. Child pornographers will also have to be informed of their right to appeal against any removal or blocking. The measure would make the UK’s system for blocking and removing child pornography without informing the publisher illegal.
‘MEPs seem more concerned with the rights of child pornographers than they do with the rights of children who have been sexually abused to make their foul, illegal images,’ said John Carr, an adviser to the UK government on child internet safety and the secretary of the Children’s Charities Coalition on Internet Safety.
For the directive to become an EU-wide law it must be agreed both by the Council of Ministers and the European parliament.
The Council of Ministers agreed tough new measures approving the blocking and deletion of child pornography images shortly before Christmas. But LIBE intends to reject them after civil rights campaigners mounted a lobbying campaign, warning that they were a form of internet censorship.
• This footnote was added on 14 February 2011. The Information Office of the European Parliament has asked us to make clear that the amendment in question clearly states that in cases where it is not possible to remove internet pages with child porn material because the images are held outside the EU, member states ‘may prevent access’ to them. The option of blocking sites is therefore still available to countries such as the UK.