Sexual abuse of children: MEPs want to criminalise “grooming” on the Internet

Sexual abuse of children: MEPs want to criminalise “grooming” on the Internet

(Plenary sessions)
Justice and home affairs – 03-02-2009 – 13:26

‘Grooming’ and paedophile chat rooms on the Internet should be criminalised, sex crimes should be subject to an extraterritorial legislation, the EP says in a report adopted in Strasbourg. MEPs call on the EU to fund prevention programmes from its general budget. By adopting the report with 591 votes in favour, 2 against and 6 abstentions, MEPs call for the criminalisation of ‘all types of sexual abuse of children’ including ‘grooming.’ (the action of soliciting children for sexual purposes).
Providers of Internet chat rooms and forums where paedophile activities take place should be criminalised. Those whose work involves regular contact with children should also have the obligation to report situations where abuse is suspected, MEPs say. Applicants to certain posts working with children should also undergo criminal records check.

The EU should fund prevention programmes

The European Parliament called on the European Commission to revise the framework decision as to create national management systems for sex offenders including risk assessment and intervention programmes and therapies to minimise the risk of repeated offenses. Such programmes could be funded from the EU’s general budget, members say.

They also call on the Member states to encourage the victims of sexual exploitation to file criminal and civil claims in the national courts against sex offenders.

Advertisements encouraging sexual abuse towards children should be prohibited, and child sex tourism should be considered a crime in all Member States. Moreover, EU citizens who commit a sex crime outside the EU should be subject to uniform extraterritorial criminal legislation.

MEPs also underline that seven member states have still not signed the Council of Europe convention on this issue, and eight have not ratified the optional protocol on the UN convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

REF. : 20090203IPR48104

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