Approach to combating online child sexual abuse to be reinforced

The number of reports of child pornography is increasing, from approximately 3,000 reports in 2014 to nearly 18,000 in 2017. Consequently, the approach to combating online child sexual abuse will be reinforced. This reinforcement will add new elements to the existing criminal-law strategy, which ensures that perpetrators are persistently tracked down and prosecuted. The combination of various lines of action will in fact result in a more extensive toolkit, allowing online child sexual abuse to be combated more effectively. This was written in a letter that Minister Grapperhaus (Justice and Security) submitted to the Lower House of Parliament today.

Prevention will be reinforced through actions aimed at preventing victimisation. Clear information provision can help strengthen the sexual defensibility of young people. It can also assist parents in supervising their children online and making them aware of the consequences of transgressive behaviour. In addition, research is being conducted into the desirability of and possibilities for creating a notification system for victims of online child abuse. At the same time, the preventative approach aimed at potential perpetrators will also receive a boost.

Public-private partnerships for a joint solution

Child pornography must be expunged from the internet. Both governments and businesses bear responsibility for making this happen. This is why, at Minister Grapperhaus’ initiative, a number of stakeholders such as international internet companies, police and the Public Prosecutor's Service will be sitting down together in the near future. During a mini conference, they will discuss how each organisation can act on its own responsibility in the coming period to further contribute to combating the sexual abuse of children online, in order to arrive at a joint public-private approach. Furthermore, in cooperation with internet companies, technical possibilities for curtailing the creation, uploading and dissemination of child pornography will be explored.

Administrative law approach for a comprehensive system

The vast majority of IT companies take active pains to remove child pornography after it has been reported. When they do not do this, the government has a normative duty to fulfil. Criminal law is not always the ideal instrument for doing so. For this reason, the suitability of an administrative law approach to implementing standards and enforcement is being explored, in order to realise a comprehensive system for dealing with child pornography on the internet.