Washington, DC (January 25, 2021) – The International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) is urging the European Union to urgently reverse its e-Privacy Directive that has resulted in a dramatic decrease in reports of child sexual exploitation in the EU at a time when cases of child sexual abuse are skyrocketing due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The National Center on Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) found that technology companies’ reports of child sexual exploitation in the EU plummeted by 46% compared to before the regulation went into effect on December 20, 2020.
“The EU is essentially abandoning child sexual exploitation victims to their abusers,” said Haley McNamara, Director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation.
“When technology companies are not empowered to scan for child sexual abuse materials, that means the chances for these children to be identified are reduced, and the trauma of survivors whose sexual abuse videos continue to circulate in perpetuity increases. The EU is compelling tech companies to prioritize privacy over child protection–and that is wrong. They can do both.”
“We call on the EU to swiftly correct its shameful mistake, before more children are harmed,” McNamara concluded.
About the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE)
Utilizing cutting edge tactics for private and public policy advocacy and building on a decade of coalition-building experience, the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) works to bolster the global abolitionist movement. ICOSE is a UK-based division of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE).
About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.