Formation Taskforce child abuse and sexual abuse
Minister Opstelten of Security and Justice, together with State Secretary Veldhuijzen van Zanten of Health, Welfare and Sports, has formed the Taskforce child abuse and sexual abuse. The Cabinet shares the sense of urgency of the Deetman Commission to prevent sexual abuse, both at institutions and at home, and to deal severely with perpetrators. This requires central direction from the government.
The Taskforce will also monitor implementation of the Action Plan Approach to Child Abuse that was recently offered to the Lower House on behalf of the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports and the Minister of Security and Justice. The Action Plan mentions a significant number of measures that should result in better prevention and identification of child abuse, and that should also combat ongoing child abuse.
In response to the appeal from the Deetman Commission to perform an in-depth investigation into the general phenomenon of child abuse and the sexual abuse of minors, there will be a multidisciplinary investigation into sexual violence and phenomena related thereto (such as child abuse, domestic violence, forced prostitution).
As regards the prescription of the right to prosecute, case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECrtHR) shows that there is no room for legislation on the basis of which prescribed facts can be prosecuted as yet. The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) does provide scope for extending or cancelling time limits of prescriptions that are still ongoing.
The Cabinet has already used this scope for the legislative proposal concerning the adjustment of the prescription of the right to prosecute. The legislative proposal was submitted because the current regulation takes insufficient account of the fact that sometimes decades pass before a victim of a serious sex crime comes forward with his story. The legislative proposal contains the proposal that prescription be cancelled with respect to the most serious sex crimes. The prescription of sex crimes against children will also be cancelled. The legislative proposal is currently before the Lower House.