Fight against online child abuse: EU countries must do their job, not outsource it
The European Socialists and Democrats today in Strasbourg backed a European Parliament resolution calling on EU governments to do their job and keep up the fight against child abuse on the internet, avoiding ineffective and dangerous shortcuts.
MEP Birgit Sippel, S&D spokesperson on civil liberties, justice and home affairs, said:
"EU member states must reinforce their fight against child abuse on the internet. Firstly, this means that they have to finally do their homework and put the directive agreed in December 2011 into effective national law.
"Each country must also take full responsibility for tackling crimes against children on the internet, they must not outsource it. Public authorities cannot 'wash their hands' and pass the buck to internet service providers to enforce public laws. Internet service providers should co-operate whenever they are asked to do so by a judicial authority, but they must not set up private systems to investigate citizens' web activities and decide what to block and when. This is the exclusive responsibility of public authorities."
S&D Group vice-president Tanja Fajon MEP said:
"Children are the most vulnerable and sensitive group in our societies and they are permanently in danger due to new technologies and the internet. Child abuse and online exploitation require our special attention globally as such threats can only be fought efficiently by the international community as a whole – always with children's best interests as the primary consideration.
"The Commission and the member states must act now with a comprehensive and co-ordinated European approach in order to ensure consistency in policy making and the resulting actions. Full engagement and co-operation between all the relevant stakeholders is needed to share best practices and information, to identify potential risks and threats to children, and to raise awareness. Children are our future and we must do our utmost to protect them."