A coalition of more than 60 organisations working to end child sexual abuse on and offline
The European Child Sexual Abuse Legislation Advocacy Group (ECLAG) is a coalition of child rights non governmental organisations (NGOs) fighting to protect children from sexual violence and abuse.
ECLAG emerged in April 2022 as a joint effort of child rights NGOs to ensure child rights are prioritised in EU digital and social policy, an issue which is already firmly grounded in EU principles and strategies as well as law.
It was created to build alignment and cooperation among civil society organisations with common goals. It seeks partnership of child rights professionals, survivors of sexual violence, child protection hotlines and technology experts to end the scourge of childhood sexual violence.
The organisations involved in ECLAG share a common vision that the EU puts in place a robust legislation to end child sexual abuse and exploitation. ECLAG’s positioning is based on evidence from our research and the longstanding expertise of its organisations in tackling the complex crime of child sexual abuse.
As an important step forward to catalyse a robust response to end childhood sexual violence in the EU, ECLAG strongly backs the Regulation to prevent and fight child sexual abuse proposed by the European Commission in May 2022 and calls for its improvement to allow for voluntary detections and the integration of the EU Centre in the existing ecosystem as well as a survivors’ representation in its decision-making bodies.
ECLAG supports the development, design and implementation of strong safeguards to ensure detection technology is privacy-preserving and to ensure the fundamental rights of adult and child users are respected, including their right to privacy and child protection.
The wider ECLAG participating group comprises 65 European and global child rights NGOs. The steering group consists of the Brave Movement, ECPAT, Eurochild, Missing Children Europe, IWF, Terre des Hommes and Thorn.
The NEED FOR EU REGULATION TO TACKLE CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE MATERIAL ONLINE
On March 20, the European Child Sexual Abuse Legislation Advocacy Group (ECLAG) hosted its first high-level event in Brussels supporting the proposed EU regulation to Prevent and Combat Child Sexual Abuse online.
The event provided an opportunity to hear from a panel of experts on why the EU proposal is urgently needed and what policymakers could adjust in the regulation to better protect children globally. As well as Mié Kohiyama, the panel included Heidi de Pauw, CEO of Child Focus and founding member of Missing Children Europe, Michael Tunks, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at IWF, and Cathal Delaney, a former law enforcement officer from Europol who now works for Thorn.
The future of the European Commission proposal to Prevent and Combat Child Sexual Abuse online is in the hands of EU policymakers in Brussels. ECLAG is campaigning to ensure they fulfil their responsibility to better protect children online like we do offline.
Keynote speakers were:
MEP Javier Zarzalejos and MEP Hilde Vautmans, both members of the European Parliament, Ashton Kutcher, the co-founder of Thorn, and Mié Kohiyama, co-Founder of the Be Brave Movement France and survivor of childhood sexual violence.
“We must listen to the voice of children - children who need protection - children whose lives can be ruined - children who can become victims of offline and online abuse - threatened no matter their social background. Protection of children is not an option, it is a duty - an inescapable responsibility. We all share that responsibility.”
Javier Zarzalejos, Rapporteur for the legislation
“We need to remember that this legislation is about protecting children from sexual crimes that create long lasting harm. It’s important that Europe keeps in mind it is acting for the world in taking the lead on this crucial legislation.”
Mié Kohiyama, Brave movement
“We are on the verge of becoming the first jurisdiction in the world to mandate online services to detect and report child sexual abuse online. It’s about time that we deliver as law makers on this crucial issue and protect our children. Only by removing CSAM can we give children back control.”
Hilde Vautmans, MEP
SHARE OUR MESSAGE
Let's make EU lawmakers know that we must pass this regulation to protect children online. You can do this by sharing these messages on your social media.