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Post by: Kim Kham
My name is Kim Kham and I am a second-year law student at Regent University. This semester, I have the opportunity to work on projects for International Justice Mission (IJM) Eastern Europe dealing with Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) in Eastern Europe and a project for IJM Uganda on the ways in which Uganda’s criminal public justice institutions and civil society organizations work together to combat violence against women and children and how the distinct roles of government and civil society/voluntary organizations can be performed, leading to achieve a sustainable outcome.
Something that most everyone can agree upon, no matter what your background or beliefs are, is the fact that the sexual exploitation of children is extremely wrong. With the growing use of modern technology, OSEC has been rapidly increasing. In order to combat this, IJM Eastern Europe tasked us with researching this issue, what the European Union (EU) has said and done about the issue, and how Eastern Europe has responded.
The EU, through the European Commission addresses OSEC through an alliance, which was launched on December 5, 2012, called the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online that was started by the European Union and the United States to combat OSEC. On December 13, 2011, the Council and the European Parliament adopted the Directive on Combating the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography to further the cause of ending sexual abuse and exploitation against children. Because modern technology has made it easier for OSEC to travel through jurisdictions, this Directive “extends national jurisdiction to cover abuse by EU nationals abroad, gives child victims easier access to legal remedies and includes measures to prevent additional trauma from participating in criminal proceedings.” This is extremely important in the grand scheme of things because it shows the EU’s dedication to combating and its intolerance towards OSEC. The internet has made it possible for individuals to continuously exploit children because not only does technology make it easy to access abusive and exploitative materials through the internet, this in turn put children at risk of becoming victims of these crimes.  In the world of sexual exploitation and abuse of children online, perpetrators of these crimes are required to frequently submit new materials on a regular basis in order to maintain access to these types of forums and networks.  There is reason to believe that the average age of victims of these crimes is decreasing.
In response to what the EU has done about OSEC, Eastern Europe has implemented various agencies and legislation to address the issue but there is still much more that needs to be done.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice student staff member.  The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.