House approves maximum prison sentence of four years for possession of ‘paedophiles' handbook’

The dissemination, acquisition and possession of instruction manuals containing tips and tricks for sexually abusing children will be made explicitly punishable and carry a maximum sentence of four years' imprisonment. Such 'paedophiles' charters' or 'paedophiles' handbooks' present a danger to children, as they could inspire potential child molesters to action. This lies at the core of a legislative proposal which the House of Representatives voted to adopt today.

According to Minister of Justice and Security Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, the amendment is of vital importance:

‘For some time, guides on how to sexually abuse children have been in circulation in places including the internet. Such handbooks go so far as to explain, in detail, how to perform sexual acts on children without causing visible injury and how to avoid leaving DNA evidence during sexual contact. Because these practices are repugnant and truly too horrible for words, there must be severe penalties for those who commit sexual abuse against children. Consequently, possession of a ‘handbook’ such as is described above will now be subject to a maximum prison sentence of four years.’

This legislative amendment aims to implement the motion adopted in the House (put forth by Member of Parliament Van Wijngaarden) to make the possession of texts with advice on and/or guidelines for sexually abusing children a punishable offence. Debate on the bill has yet to take place in the Senate.