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European Parliament wants criminalization of online 'grooming'

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The European Parliament has asked the EU to make online "grooming" a criminal offense.

Today, as part of a report adopted in Strasbourg by a vote of 591-2 in favor (with 6 abstentions), MEPs called for the criminalization of "all types of sexual abuse of children," including online grooming. Grooming refers to adults befriending children online in order to steer them towards sexual conversations. The report was drafted by MEP Roberta Angelilli of Italy.

The EP report also proposed to make providing online chat rooms and forums where pedophile activities take place a crime.

The proposals said the EU legislative framework on child exploitation protections needs to be tightened on abuses related to the internet.

The report also encourages the EU to create national management systems for sex offenders — similar to the sex offender register — but would include risk assessment and intervention programs, which it claims will minimize the risk of repeated offenses. EP members said intervention programs and voluntary therapy could be funded from the general budget of the EU.

Moreover, it proposes that EU citizen who commit a sex crime outside the EU should be subject to uniform extraterritorial criminal legislation.

A full copy of the resolutions can be found here. ®

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