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Public consultation on the EC proposal for an update of the criminal law rules on CSAE

February 23, 2024

The European Commission just proposed an update of Directive 2011/93/EU on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation. The current EU rules in this area were agreed in 2011. Taking into account the rapidly changing reality around us, they need to be adapted to address the latest developments and to strengthen the prevention and protection of victims.

The updated rules under the recast of the Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child sexual abuse material expand the definitions of offences and introduce higher penalties and more specific requirements for prevention and assistance to victims. As the Commission informs, key aspects of the proposal include:

Expanding the definition of criminal offences related to child sexual abuse across Member States: these new offences include livestreaming of child sexual abuse and the possession and exchange of pedophile manuals. The new rules also update the definitions of the crime to include child sexual abuse material in deep fakes or AI-generated material.

Strengthening prosecution, prevention and support: The proposal will set a longer time period during which victims can report the sexual abuse they suffered and seek action against the offender. The new rules will also grant victims a right to financial compensation, to address the long-term harms that child sexual abuse causes. In addition, Member States are required to put in place a coordination mechanism to make best use of available programmes on prevention and assistance to victims.

Stepping up prevention: Member States are also asked to step up investment in awareness raising especially for online risks to ensure that the internet is safer and better for children and young people. In addition, new requirements will ensure recruiters for activities involving close contact with children and for organisations working against child sexual abuse must request the criminal records of the candidates.

There will also be mandatory reporting of an offence at least by professionals working in close contact with children to address a major challenge in the efforts to stop child sexual abuse.

Publication of this proposal is also accompanied by a feedback period of 8 weeks. In case you are interested in providing feedback on this updated legislation, you can do so through the open public consultation under this link:


The public consultation is open for feedback until 05 April 2024.

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