Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating the sexual abuse and the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography

2011/92/EU
13/12/2011

DIRECTIVE 2011/92/EU 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

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 82(2) and Article 83(1) thereof,

 

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

 

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

 

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee,

 

After consulting the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,

 

Whereas:

 

(1) Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children, including child pornography, constitute serious violations of fundamental rights, in particular of the rights of children to the protection and care necessary for their well-being, as provided for by the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

(2) In accordance with Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union, the Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in which Article 24provides that in all actions relating to children, whether taken by public authorities or private institutions, the child’s best interests must be a primary consideration. Moreover, the Stockholm Programme — An Open and Secure Europe Serving and Protecting Citizens gives a clear priority to combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

(3) Child pornography, which consists of images of child sexual abuse, and other particularly serious forms of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children are increasing and spreading through the use of new technologies and the Internet.

(4) Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA of 22 December 2003 on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography approximates Member States’ legislation to criminalise the most serious forms of child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, to extend domestic jurisdiction, and to provide for a minimum level of assistance for victims. Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA of 15 March 2001 on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings  establishes a set of victims’ rights in criminal proceedings, including the right to protection and compensation. Moreover, the coordination of prosecution of cases of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography will be facilitated by the implementation of Council Framework Decision 2009/948/JHA of 30 November 2009 on prevention and settlement of conflicts of exercise of jurisdiction in criminal proceedings.

(5) In accordance with Article 34 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. The 2000 United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and, in particular, the 2007 CouncilEN 17.12.2011 Official Journal of the European Union of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse are crucial steps in the process of enhancing international cooperation in this field.