While International law sets high standards for protection of children against sexual abuse, national law, justice and protection systems can fail to protect children adequately. Research shows that sexual abuse of girls and boys takes place in all settings – in home, at school, in the community, in institutions and in work places – and in all parts of the world, including Europe. Under Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the “best interest of the child” must be the central principle in all legal instruments protecting children’s rights, including the legislation to combat child sexual abuse and exploitation and child abuse images. Therefore, the EU has an obligation to determine the impact of all relevant measures on children’s rights.’
In the online world new measures and legislation are being set in place to prevent Internet, cyber-crime and sexual abuse online.
This EIF debate gathered experts to exchange views on the state of play and on the challenges that lie ahead of policy-makers.
Cathal Delaney is a Team leader for Child Sexual Abuse at Europol's Cybercrime Centre.