20 January 2008

EU - European Parliament resolution: Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child

(EP Press Release)
An EU strategy on the rights of the child won Parliament's backing with 630 votes in favour, 26 against and 62 abstentions. MEPs call for the strategy to include tougher measures to combat paedophilia on the internet as well as steps to counter child sex tourism and enable suppliers of products manufactured with child labour to be prosecuted in Europe. The own-initiative report, drafted for the Civil Liberties Committee by Roberta Angelilli (UEN, IT), is Parliament's response to a Commission communication of 4 July 2006 titled "Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child". The report restates Parliament's opposition to all forms of violence against children and calls for a specific budget heading for their rights, with which to fund work required by the strategy. Among the European Parliament's many proposals, MEPs call for technical measures to combat the dissemination of paedophile content via the internet. They would also like to involve access suppliers, search engines and even banks, so as to block payment by would-be purchasers of illegal content. In addition, the House wishes to protect children by tightening up rules on the transmission of harmful content via the internet or multimedia messaging services and the sale of violent video games. It would like a uniform classification and labelling system to be created for such games, and for all audiovisual content. Children should be better informed of their rights via a dedicated internet site to be set up for this purpose, argues the European Parliament. The House recommends setting up a European early warning system on child abductions and supports the Commission's plan to introduce a telephone help-line for children. It also urges the creation of a European strategy, and a single EU-wide set of extraterritorial criminal laws, to counter child sex tourism.