On April 25, 2023 survivors of child sexual abuse gathered to create a human chain of survivors and allies in front of the European Parliament and European Council in Brussels to break the wall of silence on child sexual abuse and support the EU legislation, demonstrating survivors' solidarity and determination in this fight. The Philippines Survivor Network (PSN) supported this effort by drafting a letter to the EU Parliament and EU Council, calling on them to pass this regulation and protect children. Not only that, they called for improvements to the legislation to protect children across the globe. Their powerful letter was distributed to Dutch ministers and continues to be amplified to other EU leaders as a reminder that this crime has no borders
We are writing this letter so you will know our side of the story as survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation and for you to know that we are willing to collaborate with you on any aspect.SURVIVOR LEADERS
The PSN addresses the European Parliament and European Union Council in their letter of support.
Survivor leaders known by their pseudonyms *Joy, *Ashira, and *Carsten, drew from personal experience and provided recommendations to strengthen the legislation.
Their recommendations include:
- Balance user privacy with child protection and the privacy of victims and survivors.
- Companies should be required to detect both new and known child sexual abuse material.
- Companies should be required to prevent livestreamed child sexual abuse.
- The ‘EU Centre on Child Abuse’ will support international collaboration efforts.
- Foreign victims outside the EU should be given the right to request and expect content removal and entitled to reparations.
Listen to the voices of survivors
Stated in their letter, the privacy of victims and survivors is an important consideration. Perpetrators had exposed their privacy without their knowledge or consent. They request that the EU not forget about the privacy of victims and survivors whose sexual abuse is in photos and videos shared online.
The survivor leaders also wrote that timely detection and removal of child sexual abuse material is crucial in combatting online exploitation and abuse. It can protect children from harm, prevent distribution of such material, and further victimization.
Creation of an 'EU Centre on Child Abuse' will increase international collaboration to identify perpetrators and victims of child sexual abuse. PSN finds that, through this Centre, it will be easier for survivors to get justice. Working together globally is necessary to end such a global crime. They also encouraged governments that the more they collaborate with survivors, the more they would understand their advocacies of their rights.
In their final recommendation, the survivor leaders wrote that if victims outside the EU were given the right to request content removal and were entitled to reparations, it would provide them with more options to seek justice and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
May our voices awaken you that this crime wasn't good for survivors. We don't want other young children to be abused.SURVIVOR LEADERS