Proposal for a Regulation laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2022) 209
Publication Date 11/05/2022
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Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 11 May 2022, aimed at preventing and combating child sexual abuse online. This is a text with EEA relevance.

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In July 2020, the European Commission adopted its EU Strategy for a More Effective Fight Against Child Sexual Abuse, which set out a response to the growing threat of child sexual abuse both offline and online. Despite the contribution made by certain providers of hosting or interpersonal communication services, voluntary action has proven insufficient to address the misuses of online services for the purposes of child sexual abuse. As a consequence, several Member States of the European Union started preparing and adopting national rules to fight against online child sexual abuse. This resulted in the development of divergent national requirements, in turn leading to an increase in the fragmentation of the Digital Single Market (DSM) for services.

This draft law seeks to establish a clear and harmonised legal framework on preventing and combatting online child sexual abuse. It seeks to provide legal certainty to providers as to their responsibilities to assess and mitigate risks and, where necessary, to detect, report and remove such abuse on their services in a manner consistent with the fundamental rights in the EU. The proposal sets out targeted measures that are proportionate to the risk of misuse of a given service for online child sexual abuse and are subject to robust conditions and safeguards.

It also seeks to ensure that providers can meet their responsibilities, by establishing a EU Centre on Child Sexual Abuse to facilitate and support implementation of this Regulation. This Centre is to create, maintain and operate databases of indicators of online child sexual abuse that providers must use to comply with the detection obligations.

The proposal was tabled by the European Commission on 11 May 2022.

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EUObserver, 08/12/2021: EU to announce new mandatory rules on child sexual content
Euronews, 10/01/2022: EU plans to fight child sexual abuse online with new law obliging tech firms to report offences
Politico, 09/05/2022: Brussels braces for tense tech fight over child sex abuse content
Deutsche Welle, 11/05/2022: EU plans crackdown on online child sexual abuse
EUObserver, 11/05/2022: Commission child sex abuse law enrages privacy advocates
Bloomberg, 11/05/2022: EU May Ask Tech Companies to Scan for Sexual Abuse Material

EUR-LEX: SWD(2022)209: Staff Working Document accompanying this Proposal - Impact Assessment Report
EUR-LEX: SWD(2022)210: Staff Working Document accompanying this Proposal - Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Report
European Commission: Home Affairs: Child Sexual Abuse
European Commission: Press Release, 11/05/2022: Fighting child sexual abuse: Commission proposes new rules to protect children
European Commission: Questions and Answers –New rules to fight child sexual abuse (11 May 2022)

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