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Hope For Children participates in Pan-european initiative calling on member states to support EU regulation preventing online child sexual abuse

“Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center participates in a coalition of +60 of organisations working across Europe to protect children from sexual abuse calling on EU Member States to support the Regulation to prevent and combat Child Sexual Abuse proposed by the European Commission in May 2022.

The number of child sexual abuse material found online increased from 1 million in 2014 to over 20 million in 2021. Every single day, children’s rights to protection from sexual abuse and exploitation online are violated. An overwhelming 85 million images and videos were reported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) globally in 2021 – with Europe hosting over 62% of this material according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).

Effective, long-term solutions to counter the proliferation of child sexual abuse online lies in government regulation. EU policymakers have the opportunity to vote in favour of the proposed regulation to Prevent and Combat Child Sexual Abuse online and set a ground-breaking global precedent to end child sexual violence and abuse online.

“1 in 5 children in Europe are entering adulthood having been sexually abused online. This is an epidemic which the EU is at the centre of. It’s time for EU Member States to step up, be brave, and protect children from this atrocious crime. This is why we also addressed all involved ministries in Cyprus urging them to support this Regulation.” says Andria Neocleous, Executive Director of “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center. “The EU Regulation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse is key in protecting children's rights to be safe online and in ensuring the digital sphere is not a space of impunity. We need to take strong measures to protect our children from abuse.”

Every time child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is shared or viewed online, victims are revictimised. Survivors usually feel scared and ashamed. Some of them might stop using online platforms at all, living in fear of going through the trauma again every time their name pops up online, or when they take a walk down the street in case someone recognises them.

All children, including babies, toddlers and children with disabilities, the most vulnerable of our society, are left at the hands of their offenders. We urgently need EU policymakers to ensure online service providers always detect, report, and remove child sexual abuse material and any form of child sexual abuse online.

It is time that the EU ends the impunity of perpetrators and passes this unprecedented regulation to protect children online.



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