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    European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson

    “Child sexual abuse is a heinous crime with lifelong consequences for the victims. The online space offers new opportunities for offenders to groom and abuse children and to exchange child sexual abuse material. We need a strong response. Targeted and robust prevention plays a key role in protecting children against child sexual abuse and exploitation. The new proposal for a Regulation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse focuses first and foremost on prevention by ensuring that digital spaces have the necessary protections to keep children safe from harm and to stop the distribution of child sexual abuse material that fuels demand for new abuses.

    An effective fight against this crime requires a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder and global approach, with tools to facilitate reporting, investigations and assistance and support to victims. The Internet Watch Foundation plays a key role in finding, reporting and removing online records of child sexual abuse. This IWF report indicates that the threat of child sexual abuse online is on the rise, notably through the increase in “self-generated” content which frequently results from grooming and sextortion. The report provides important evidence to help prevent and combat these crimes.”


    Image credit: photographer Claudio Centonze, European Union 2023