Maximum four years' imprisonment for possession of paedophile manuals

As of 1 July 2023, being in possession of material containing instructions to sexually abuse children will be illegal. The Dutch Penal Code will be broadened with a new criminal provision that independently criminalises acts of preparation for child sexual abuse. This criminalisation will prohibit the distribution, acquisition or possession of a manual containing tips and tricks for the sexual abuse of children. The penalty will consist of imprisonment for up to four years.

Instructional materials for sexually abusing children have been circulating the so-called dark web of the internet for some time. These describe, among other things, how to ‘hunt' for children, seduce a child and gain a child's trust. Such a manual puts children at risk as it provides a breeding ground for the child abuser to make his move.

Sexual abuse of children is one of the most devastating forms of crime for the victims and those around them. Children have a fundamental right to a safe environment in which to grow up. It is horrific and unacceptable that people are engaged in sharing advice on how to abuse children. Abusive situations - offline and online - must be stopped. In this process, we must also prevent children from ending up in abusive situations to the greatest extent possible,''

said Justice and Security Minister Yesilgöz-Zegerius.

The minister therefore deems it vital to increase early action against potential child abusers. The new penal provision broadens the tools for early action.