“Child sexual abuse and exploitation is on the rise globally. Europol has reported a 106% increase in child sexual exploitation reports in the past year. Fighting these heinous crimes is a fundamental priority for the EPP Group and we call for a plenary debate with a Resolution on new measures to combat child sexual abuse”, said Roberta Metsola MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs, urging other Groups to back the EPP Group push to get the topic on the plenary agenda of the European Parliament next week.
"Criminal networks of child sexual abuse operate across our borders. A common European response is the only way forward. The uncovering of a child sexual abuse network by the German police earlier this month has shown that we need stricter sanctions and that Europol must have the adequate resources and competences to track down these despicable criminals, online, on land, or wherever they may be. We need to send a strong message that there is nowhere in Europe that these criminals can hide and we can do that by acting forcefully and jointly", said Metsola.
The EPP Group stresses the need for concrete new measures in the upcoming ‘EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse’, due to be published in July by the European Commission. Further, to improve investigation and prosecution of these crimes, the e-evidence package must be put in place urgently.
"In what is nothing less than a betrayal of each and every abused child, seven years after the deadline, a majority of Member States have still failed to implement all the legally-binding provisions in the EU Child Sexual Abuse Directive. This must change", concluded Metsola.
The leaders of the political groups will decide on Thursday whether the debate and the Resolution will be placed on next week's plenary agenda.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States