Magazine article European Social Policy

Justice and Home Affairs : Eu to Crack Down on Child Abuse

Magazine article European Social Policy

Justice and Home Affairs : Eu to Crack Down on Child Abuse

Article excerpt

The European Commission wants to make it much easier to prosecute child abusers both within and outside the European Union. According to a proposal, presented on 25 March, it should become possible in all the member states to bring child abusers to court. The Commission has also proposed a new set of rules aimed at stepping up the fight against trafficking in human beings. These new proposals would replace existing Council framework decisions (2004/68/JHA on child abuse, from 2004, and 2002/629/JHA on human trafficking, from 2002).

The new proposals promise to "guarantee full alignment with the highest European standards, provide better assistance for victims and tougher action against criminals responsible for child sexual abuse and trafficking". The proposals aim to deal with the "rapidly changing technologies in the cyberspace". European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot, responsible for justice, freedom and security, said, on 25 March, that he wants to "build an EU that is truly able to protect the most vulnerable citizens against the most terrible crimes".

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

The proposal to fight trafficking in human beings aims to make sure that offenders are brought to justice even if they commit crimes outside the EU. It would allow for phone tapping, eavesdropping and similar tools. Under the new rules, accommodation and medical care would be provided for victims and if necessary they would also receive police protection. Victims will be "protected from further traumatisation" during criminal proceedings, for example by making sure they are not forced to be in the same room with their raper during the court case. …

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