The European Parliament adopted a Resolution today tabled by Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP calling on Member States to take concrete measures to stop the sexual exploitation of children.

Four years since the deadline set in EU legislation, a majority of Member States have not implemented all the legally-binding provisions.

18 Member States have not been able to provide the European Commission with information on how the possession of child pornography is punished by their legal systems.

Only half of the Member States have introduced measures to ensure that child victims of abuse are provided with assistance and support.

As a result, we are living in a continent where one in five children are victims of sexual violence.

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP explained: “Our Report is a call to Member States for urgent action to stop child sexual abuse and to protect children. Criminal networks of child sexual abuse operate across the borders. A common European response is the best way to prevent and combat these terrible crimes. We need stricter sanctions and adequate resources to access police and child hotlines and helplines. Much more needs to be done to remove child sexual abuse material in real time. The internet stakeholders must take their shared responsibility to detect and report child sexual abuse material online to police, and invest in new technology.”

“Thousands of migrant children disappear, are sold and sexually exploited through organised crime in Europe, making billions off the backs of children. Child trafficking is the slavery of our time affecting the most vulnerable. We urge Member States to prioritise the fight against criminal networks, making full use of the EU tools available and enforcing the anti-trafficking Directive”, added Corazza Bildt, Rapporteur of the European Parliament Resolution.

The European Union adopted legislation on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography in 2011.

The Member States had to transpose the Directive by the end of 2013. In an implementation report from last year, the Commission concluded that the implementation of the Directive has not been completed in most Member States.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States

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