EU legislation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse

The European Commission’s proposed legislation

The proposed EU legislation intends to help EU countries prevent, detect and report child sexual abuse online, and support victims.

It will make it mandatory for online service providers and hosts to detect child sexual abuse material and report it to the EU centre to prevent and combat child sexual abuse when a detection order is issued. The draft legislation proposes the establishment of this Centre to, among others:

  • Facilitate actions to fight against child sexual abuse: from detection and reporting, to prevention and assistance to victims
  • Provide EU countries with expertise on prevention and victim support
  • Support law enforcement to act on reports and save children
  • Provide companies with indicators to find and report online child sexual abuse
  • Work closely with partners outside the EU, including similar centres in the US, Canada and Australia

For more information on the proposed online regulation, you can read these FAQs and this Factsheet.

Response to the proposed legislation

Feedback on the proposal

The European Commission has opened the feedback on the proposed legislation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse.

Our consultation feedback shows that the Alliance strongly welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to provide a uniform approach to detecting and reporting child sexual abuse, support the work of public authorities and boost EU efforts on prevention and assistance to victims.

Open letter

Legislation like the one that the EU proposed is crucial to protect children online. It does this by focusing on preventing online harm from happening in the first place and bringing offenders to justice.

Iain Drennan 03 Iain Drennan, WeProtect Global Alliance Executive Director

Together with more than 90 other child rights organisations, we signed an open letter to support the EU’s proposed legislation as an important step forward towards a safer online world for children.

Read this blog post published by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs.

The #ChildSafetyOnlineNow campaign

EN FBIG Carousel 1200x1200 Seatbelt 1 1
EN FBIG Carousel 1200x1200 Gate 2 1

In 2021 alone, an estimated 85 million images and videos of child sexual abuse were reported worldwide. This needs to stop now.

This is why WeProtect Global Alliance and 13 other organisations have launched a campaign to support the European Commission’s proposal to tackle the growing spread of child sexual abuse online.

You can learn more about this campaign on its website, also available in Spanish, German, French, Dutch and Italian.

The European Union Digital Services Act

The European Union Digital Services Act (DSA) aims to make the internet a safer place for European citizens, including children. The legislation, which was proposed in 2020 and came into force on November 2022, intends to “create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected”.