Magazine article European Social Policy

Justice and Home Affairs : Commission to Target Child Pornography

Magazine article European Social Policy

Justice and Home Affairs : Commission to Target Child Pornography

Article excerpt

The European Commission will try to force EU member states to implement harmonised penal sanctions for sexual exploitation of children. Vice-President Jacques Barrot, responsible for the justice portfolio, said, on 26 May, that he will conduct a review of the 2003 Framework Decision on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography (2004/68/JHA), and attempt to turn it into a directive next year.

Barrot's words reflect the difficulties that the member states have in actually transposing the harmonised penal sanctions into national law. The decision was supposed to be implemented across the EU by 20 January 2006, but a number of member states still have not done so. "A directive would give us the means to pursue those who have not implemented [the sanctions]," Barrot explained. The framework decision, for example, makes paedophilia and child pornography punishable by at least one year in prison.

However, the Commission is likely to run into member states' opposition. It took the EU institutions three years to agree on the original decision. That is why Barrot said he would wait until the new Lisbon Treaty, which brings new procedures into the decision making in many areas of the justice and home affairs policy.

Speaking a day after 25 May, designated the International Missing Children's Day, Barrot also said that he would increase pressure on member states to speed up the implementation of the single European emergency number (116000) for missing children. …

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