2010/0064(COD)

Combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography

Procedure completed

2010/0064(COD) Combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography
RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Opinion CULT KAMMEREVERT Petra (S&D)
Opinion FEMM YANNAKOUDAKIS Marina (ECR)
Lead LIBE ANGELILLI Roberta (EPP) SIPPEL Birgit (S&D), WIKSTRÖM Cecilia (ALDE), LAMBERT Jean (Verts/ALE), KIRKHOPE Timothy (ECR), TRIANTAPHYLLIDES Kyriacos (GUE/NGL)
Lead committee dossier: LIBE/7/02673
Legal Basis TFEU TFEU 082-p2, TFEU TFEU 083-p1-a1
Subjects
Links

Activites

  • 2011/12/17 Final act published in Official Journal
  • 2011/12/14 End of procedure in Parliament
  • 2011/12/13 Final act signed
  • 2011/11/15 Act adopted by Council after Parliament's 1st reading
  • #3125
  • 2011/11/15 Council Meeting
  • 2011/11/11 CSL Final Agreement
  • 2011/10/27 Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
    • T7-0468/2011 summary
    • Results of vote in Parliament
  • 2011/10/27 Commission response to text adopted in plenary
  • 2011/10/26 Debate in Parliament
  • 2011/08/02 Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/07/12 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/01/24 Committee draft report
  • 2011/01/18 Deadline Amendments
  • #3051
  • 2010/12/02 Council Meeting
  • #3034
  • 2010/10/07 Council Meeting
  • 2010/09/15 Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report
  • #3018
  • 2010/06/03 Council Meeting
  • 2010/05/10 Document attached to the procedure
    • N7-0080/2010 summary
    • OJ C 323 30.11.2010, p. 0006
  • 2010/04/21 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2010/03/29 Legislative proposal
    • COM(2010)0094 summary
    • DG Justice, MALMSTRÖM Cecilia
  • 2010/03/24 EP officialisation

Documents

Votes

A7-0294/2011 - Roberta Angelilli - Résolution législative

2011/10/27
Position Total ALDE ECR EFD GUE/NGL NI PPE S&D Verts/ALE correctional
For 541 71 38 12 6 18 205 149 42 0
Against 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Abstain 31 0 2 3 19 7 0 0 0 0
AmendmentsDossier
660 2010/0064(COD) Combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography
2010/06/10 FEMM 89 amendments...
source: PE-450.622
2010/06/18 CULT 79 amendments...
source: PE-442.976
2010/07/20 CULT 111 amendments...
source: PE-442.977
2010/09/08 FEMM 39 amendments...
source: PE-448.743
2011/01/19 LIBE 305 amendments...
source: PE-456.647
2011/01/24 LIBE, LIBE 37 amendments...
source: PE-452.564

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2012-02-09
activities added
  • body
    EP
    date
    2010-03-24
    type
    EP officialisation
  • date
    2010-03-29
    docs
    • text
      •  PURPOSE: to recast Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA on the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography by including new provisions aimed at making it more effective.

        PROPOSED ACT: Directive of European Parliament and of the Council.

        BACKGROUND: with regard to child victims, the main cause of this phenomenon is vulnerability resulting from a variety of factors. Insufficient response by law enforcement mechanisms contributes to the prevalence of these phenomena, and the difficulties are exacerbated because certain forms of offences transcend national borders. Victims are reluctant to report abuse, variations in national criminal law and procedure may give rise to differences in investigation and prosecution, and convicted offenders may continue to be dangerous after serving their sentences. Developments in information technology have made these problems more acute by making it easier to produce and distribute child sexual abuse images while offering offenders anonymity and spreading responsibility across jurisdictions. Ease of travel and income differences fuel so-called child sex tourism, resulting often in child sex offenders committing offences abroad with impunity.

        National legislation covers some of these problems, to varying degrees. However, it is not strong or consistent enough to provide a vigorous social response to this disturbing phenomenon. The recent Council of Europe Convention CETS No. 201 on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse ("the COE Convention") arguably constitutes the highest international standard for protecting children against sexual abuse and exploitation to date. However, not all Member States have yet acceded to this Convention.

        At EU level, Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA, introduces a minimum of approximation of Member States' legislation to criminalise the most serious forms of child sexual abuse and exploitation, to extend domestic jurisdiction, and to provide for a minimum of assistance to victims. Although the requirements have generally been put into implementation, the Framework Decision has a number of shortcomings. It approximates legislation only on a limited number of offences, does not address new forms of abuse and exploitation using information technology, does not remove obstacles to prosecuting offences outside national territory, does not meet all the specific needs of child victims, and does not contain adequate measures to prevent offences. It is therefore necessary to recast this text in order to respond to the needs of these new challenges.

        It should be noted that this proposal would replace existing legislation in place since 2004, and builds on a proposal made on 25/03/2009. After the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, this proposal has to be reshaped. This will allow the Commission to verify that EU law is correctly translated into national rules and take those countries that are not complying to Court.

        IMPACT ASSESSMENT: the Commission considered several options:

        • option 1: no new EU action;
        • option 2: complement existing legislation with non-legislative measures: Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA, would not be amended. Instead, non-legislative measures could be put in place to support coordinated implementation of national legislation. This would include exchanging information and experience in prosecution, protection or prevention, awareness raising, cooperation with private sector and encouragement of self regulation, or the setting up of mechanisms for data collection;
        • option 3: new legislation on prosecuting offenders, protecting victims, and preventing offences: a new legislative act would be adopted, incorporating the existing Framework Decision, certain provisions of the COE Convention, and additional elements not contained in either of these. It would cover prosecution of offenders, protection of the victims, and prevention of the phenomenon;
        • option 4: new comprehensive legislation: the existing provisions of Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA would be supplemented by EU action to amend substantive criminal law and procedure, protect victims, and prevent offences as under option 3, plus the non-legislative measures identified under option 2 to improve the implementation of national legislation.

        Following the analysis of the economic impact, social impacts, and impacts on fundamental rights, options 3 and 4 represent the best approach to the problems and achieve the objectives of the proposal. The preferred option would be option 4, followed by option 3.

        LEGAL BASIS: Articles 82 (2) and 83 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. Given the cross-border dimension, EU action is required as the objective of effectively protecting children cannot be sufficiently achieved by Member States, either at central level or at regional or local level.

        CONTENT: the proposal will both repeal and incorporate Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA to include the following new elements:

        • substantive criminal law: serious forms of child sexual abuse and exploitation currently not covered by EU legislation would be criminalised. This includes, for instance, the organisation of travel arrangements with the purpose of committing sexual abuse, something particularly relevant, but not exclusively, in the context of child sex tourism. The definition of child pornography is amended to approximate it to the COE Convention and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Special consideration is given to offences against children in a particularly vulnerable situation. In particular, the level of criminal penalties should be increased so that they are proportionate, effective and dissuasive. To determine the degree of seriousness and attach penalties proportionate to it, consideration is given to different factors which may intervene in very different sorts of offences, like the degree of harm to the victim, the level of culpability of the offender and the level of risk posed to society. Accordingly, a number of relations between offences can be established. In general terms, activities involving sexual contact are more serious than those which do not; the presence of exploitation makes the offence more serious than its absence; coercion, force or threats are more serious than abuse of a position of power of the offender or weakness of the victim, which in turn is more serious than free consent of the victim. Prostitution, which involves sexual activities and money, is more serious than pornographic performances, which may or may not include them; recruiting to prostitution or similar is more serious than mere causing, as it involves active seeking of children as commodities. On child pornography, production, usually involving recruiting and sexual contact with the child, is more serious than other offences like distribution or offering, which in turn are more serious than possession or access. As a result of combining these different criteria, distinction is thus made between five different groups of offences, depending on their degree of seriousness, leading to accordingly different levels of penalties for the basic crimes;
        • new criminal offences in the IT environment: new forms of sexual abuse and exploitation facilitated by the use of IT would be criminalised. This includes on-line pornographic performances, or knowingly obtaining access to child pornography, to cover cases where viewing child pornography from websites without downloading or storing the images does not amount to "possession of" or "procuring" child pornography. Also the new offence of "grooming" is incorporated closely following the wording agreed in the COE Convention.
        • criminal investigation and initiation of criminal proceedings: a number of provisions would be introduced to assist with investigating offences and bringing charges. A mechanism to coordinate prosecution in cases of multiple jurisdictions is included, but may be superseded once the proposal for a Framework Decision on conflict of jurisdiction in criminal proceedings is adopted;
        • prosecution of offences committed abroad: rules on jurisdiction would be amended to ensure that child sexual abusers or exploiters from the EU, both nationals and habitual residents, face prosecution even if they commit their crimes outside the EU, via so-called sex tourism;
        • protection of victims: new provisions will be included to ensure that victims have easy access to legal remedies and do not suffer from participating in criminal proceedings. They cover assistance and support to victims, and protection of victims specifically in criminal investigations and proceedings;
        • prevention of offences: amendments would be introduced to help prevent child sexual abuse and exploitation offences, through a number of actions concentrating on previous offenders to prevent recidivism, and to restrict access to child pornography on the internet. The aim of restricting such access is to reduce the circulation of child pornography by making it more difficult to use the publicly-accessible Web. It is not a substitute for action to remove the content at the source or to prosecute offenders;
        • other protective measures not contained in the COE Convention: the proposal includes elements not contained in the COE Convention, notably: (i) ensuring implementation across the EU of prohibitions from activities with children imposed on offenders; (ii) blocking access to child pornography on the internet; (iii) criminalising coercing a child into sexual relations with a third party and child sexual abuse online; (iv) a non-punishment clause for child victims. It also goes beyond the obligations imposed by the COE Convention regarding the level of penalties, free legal counselling for child victims and repression of activities encouraging abuse and child sex tourism. Moreover, incorporating provisions from the Convention into EU law will facilitate faster adoption of national measures compared to national procedures for ratification, and ensure better monitoring of implementation.

        Territorial scope: the adoption of the proposal will be addressed to the Member States. The application of the resulting Directive to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark will be determined in accordance with the provisions of Protocols (No 21) and (No 22) annexed to the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union.

        BUDGETARY IMPLICATION: the proposal has no implication for the Community budget.

      celexid
      CELEX:52010PC0094:EN
      type
      Legislative proposal published
      title
      COM(2010)0094
    body
    EC
    commission
    • DG
      Justice
      Commissioner
      MALMSTRÖM Cecilia
    type
    Legislative proposal
  • date
    2010-04-21
    body
    EP
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    Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
    committees
  • date
    2010-05-10
    docs
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  • body
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    text
    • The Spanish presidency informed justice ministers about the state of play concerning a directive on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

      In March 2010, the Commission adopted its proposal on the file. Once adopted, the new rules will replace framework decision 2004/68/JHA. The goal is to further approximate national legislation and to improve international law enforcement and judicial cooperation.

      Among the outstanding issues are:

      • the definition of child pornography;
      • the categorisation of offences;
      • instigation, aiding and abetting, and preparatory acts for offences of this kind;
      • the criminalisation of intentional access to child pornography by computerised means;
      • how to deal with unintended access to web sites;
      • the length of sentences;
      • the extension of territorial jurisdiction;
      • the blocking of websites with child pornography content as a complementary measure to the efforts to eliminate the source content;
      • including unreal characters (images, cartoons, etc.) within the concept of child pornography (in this respect, the Commission has noted that the aim is to criminalise images which reproduce reality);
      • assessing and offering rehabilitation programmes to the perpetrators of such crimes.
    council
    Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)
    date
    2010-06-03
    type
    Council Meeting
  • date
    2010-09-15
    docs
    • url
      http://eescopinions.eesc.europa.eu/eescopiniondocument.aspx?language=EN&docnr=1173&year=2010
      title
      CES1173/2010
      type
      Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report
      celexid
      CELEX:52010AE1173:EN
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    ESOC
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    Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report
  • body
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    text
    • The Council discussed the proposal for a directive on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. Ministers focused on Articles 1-13 (with the exception of Art. 10) of the current version of the text.

      Almost all member states agreed on the current wording of these articles. Only two delegations maintained their reservations on Art. 4(3), which concerns situations where children knowingly attend pornographic performances.

      Articles 1-13 (with the exception of Art. 10) specify, among other things, the scope of offences and the level of penalties in the following areas:

      • sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography;
      • solicitation of children for sexual purposes by means of information and communication technology ('grooming');
      • instigation, aiding and abetting, attempt.

      They also concern provisions on aggravating circumstances, the liability of and sanctions on legal persons as well as the possibility not to prosecute or impose penalties on the child victims.

    council
    Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)
    date
    2010-10-07
    type
    Council Meeting
  • body
    CSL
    meeting_id
    3051
    text
    • The Council reached a general agreement on new EU-wide rules which will make it possible to combat sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography more effectively.

      The negotiations with the European Parliament can now begin, with the aim being to reach a first reading agreement as soon as possible.

    council
    Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)
    date
    2010-12-02
    type
    Council Meeting
  • body
    EP
    date
    2011-01-18
    type
    Deadline Amendments
  • date
    2011-01-24
    docs
    • url
      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE452.564
      type
      Committee draft report
      title
      PE452.564
    body
    EP
    type
    Committee draft report
  • date
    2011-07-12
    text
    • The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted the report drafted by Roberta ANGELILLI (EPP, IT) on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA.

      It recommended that the European Parliament's position at first reading adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure should be to amend the Commission proposal. The amendments proposed are the result of an agreement reached between the members of the competent committee and the representatives of the Council of Ministers. They may be summarised as follows:

      Scope: it is stipulated that this Directive aims to establish minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions in the area of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children, child pornography and solicitation of children for sexual purposes.

      The "age of sexual consent" shall mean the age below which it is prohibited to engage in sexual activities with a child according to national law. As regards "pornographic performance",  shall mean the live exhibition aimed at an audience,

      In the context of criminalising acts related to pornographic performance, this Directive refers to such acts which consist of an organised live exhibition, aimed at an audience.

      Offences concerning sexual abuse: causing, for sexual purposes, a child who has not reached the age of sexual consent to witness sexual abuse, even without having to participate, shall be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least two years.

      Coercing or forcing a child to participate in pornographic performances, or threatening a child for such purposes, shall be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least eight years if the child has not reached the age of sexual consent, or of at least five years if the child is over that age.

      Offences concerning sexual exploitation:according to the amended text, Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the intentional conduct referred to below is punishable:

      • causing or recruiting a child to participate in pornographic performances, or profiting from or otherwise exploiting a child for such purposes, shall be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least five years if the child has not reached the age of sexual consent, or of at least two years if the child is over that age;
      • coercing or forcing a child to participate in pornographic performances, or threatening a child for such purposes, shall be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least eight years if the child has not reached the age of sexual consent, or of at least five years if the child is over that age;
      • knowingly attending pornographic performances involving the participation of a child shall be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least two years if the child has not reached the age of sexual consent, or of at least one year if the child is over that age;
      • causing or recruiting a child to participate in child prostitution, or profiting from or otherwise exploiting a child for such purposes, shall be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least eight years if the child has not reached the age of sexual consent and of at least five years of imprisonment if the child is over that age;
      • coercing or forcing a child into child prostitution, or threatening a child for such purposes, shall be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least ten years if the child has not reached the age of sexual consent and of at least five years of imprisonment if the child is over that age;
      • engaging in sexual activities with a child, where recourse is made to child prostitution shall be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least five years if the child has not reached the age of sexual consent and of at least two years of imprisonment if the child is over that age.

      Users of child pornography: knowingly obtaining access, by means of information and communication technology, to child pornography should be criminalised. To be liable, the text stipulates that the person should both intend to enter a site where child pornography is available and know that such images can be found there.

      Solicitation of children for sexual purposes: Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that an attempt through information and communication technology to commit the offences concerning child pornography by an adult soliciting a child who has not reached the age of sexual consent to provide child pornography depicting that child is punishable. This includes, in particular, the online solicitation of children for sexual purposes via social networking websites and chat rooms.

      Aggravating circumstances: Members are in favour of more severe sanctions within the EU, especially in cases of abuse committed by a member of the family, a person cohabiting with the

      child or a person having abused their recognised position of trust or authority; by several people acting together; etc. or that the offence was committed against a child in a particularly vulnerable situation, such as a mental or physical disability or a situation of dependence or state of physical or mental incapacity caused by the influence of drugs and alcohol.

      Disqualification arising from convictions: in order to avoid the risk of repetition of offences, Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that a natural person who has been convicted of any of the offences may be temporarily or permanently prevented from exercising at least professional activities involving direct and regular contacts with children.

      Employers when recruiting for a post involving direct and regular contact with children are entitled to be informed, of convictions for sexual offences against children entered in the criminal record, or of existing disqualifications.

      Seizure and Confiscation: Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that their competent authorities are entitled to seize and confiscate instrumentalities and proceeds from the offences referred to in the Directive.

      Assistance and support: Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that a child is provided with assistance and support as soon as the competent authorities have reasonable grounds indication for believing that the child may have been subject to an offence. Member States shall in particular take the necessary steps to ensure protection for children who report cases of abuse taking place within their family. They shall also take the necessary measures to ensure that assistance and support for a child victim are not made conditional on the child victim's willingness to co-operate in the criminal investigation, prosecution or trial. Member States shall ensure that child victims have without delay access to legal counselling and, in accordance with the role of victims in the relevant justice system, to legal representation, including for the purpose of claiming compensation. Legal counselling and legal representation shall be free of charge when the victim does not have sufficient financial resources.

      Advertising abuse opportunity and child sex tourism: Member States shall take appropriate measures to prevent or prohibit: (a) the dissemination of material advertising the opportunity to commit any of the offences against children; (b) the organisation for others, whether or not for commercial purposes, of travel arrangements with the purpose of committing any of the offences.

      Preventive intervention programmes or measures: Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that persons who fear that they might commit any of the offences may have access, where appropriate, to effective intervention programmes or measures designed to evaluate and prevent the risk of offences being committed. Member States shall take appropriate measures, such as education and training, to discourage and reduce the demand that fosters all forms of sexual exploitation related to exploitation of children.

      Measures against websites containing or disseminating child pornography: Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure the prompt removal of web-pages containing or disseminating child pornography hosted in their territory and to endeavour to obtain the removal of such pages hosted outside of their territory. Member States may take measures to block access to webpages containing or disseminating child pornography towards the Internet users in their territory. These measures must be set by transparent procedures and provide adequate safeguards. These safeguards shall also include the possibility of judicial redress.

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    2011-10-26
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      MALMSTRÖM Cecilia
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    2011-11-11
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    2011-11-15
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    2011-11-15
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    2011-12-13
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    text
    • The directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA, was published in Official Journal L 335 of 17 December 2011 with the wrong number.

      The number of the directive, erroneously published as 2011/92/EU, should be 2011/93/EU.

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    2010-05-03
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    • group
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      KAMMEREVERT Petra
  • body
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    2010-05-04
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    Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
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    • group
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      YANNAKOUDAKIS Marina
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      ANGELILLI Roberta
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National parliaments
European Commission
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  • body
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    MALMSTRÖM Cecilia
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LIBE/7/02673
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2010/0064(COD)
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Legislation
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Procedure completed
summary
  • Repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA
instrument
Directive
title
Combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography
type
COD - Ordinary legislative procedure (ex-codecision)
final
subject

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© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament