“Whatever the EU can do against child sexual abuse, the EU must do and will do.” With this statement, the European Commission has proposed new obligations on EU countries to punish child sex offenders more severely.
Brussels says one out of every five sex offenders goes on to commit new offences after conviction.
The growth of Internet child pornography is also addressed in the proposal. Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström left no room for ambivalence.
She said: “Let me be extremely clear: child pornography is not about freedom of expression. It is a horrendous crime. It is not about circulating an opinion.”
Actions to protect children, the Commission said, should be effective not just in the country which convicts the offenders but across the EU. The proposal also encompasses the prosecution of sex tourists when they return home — and people traffickers.