The EU plans to legislate to require tech companies to do more to tackle child sexual abuse, according to the bloc’s Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson.
The commissioner told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that internet providers and social media companies reported 22 million child sexual abuse offenses in 2020, up from 17 million in 2019.
According to Johansson, five companies were responsible for 99% of the reports. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, Inc., was responsible for 95%.
Johansson said it was only a fraction of the actual number.
What is the proposal?
“I will be proposing legislation in the coming months that will oblige companies to detect, report and remove child sexual abuse,” Johansson said.
“A voluntary report will then no longer be sufficient.”
Tech giant Meta alone was responsible for 95% of sexual abuse reports
What is the situation of sexual abuse of minors in Europe?
Johansson said child sexual abuse was on the rise.
“During the pandemic, as more perpetrators were isolated in their homes, the demand for material depicting child sexual abuse increased, in some EU member countries even by as much as 25 percent.”
“This in turn leads to more abuse,” she added.
Johansson said she saw the need for a special European center to prevent and combat child sexual abuse, which would “improve prevention, law enforcement and victim support.”
She underlined the need for cooperation across Europe and around the world in the fight against child sexual abuse.
sdi / nm (Reuters, KNA)