Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

Protection of children and of European fundamental rights

Written declaration No. 780 | Doc. 15799 | 20 June 2023

Mr Konstantin KUHLE, Germany, ALDE ; Mr Stanislav ANASTASSOV, Bulgaria, ALDE ; Mr Andris BĒRZINŠ, Latvia, ALDE ; Ms Larysa BILOZIR, Ukraine, ALDE ; Ms Ana CALINICI, Republic of Moldova, ALDE ; Ms Bernadeta COMA, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr Percy DOWNE, Canada ; Ms Camilla FABRICIUS, Denmark, SOC ; Mr Brian FRANCIS, Canada ; Mr André GATTOLIN, France, ALDE ; Mr Joël GIRAUD, France, ALDE ; Mr Jean-Pierre GRIN, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Alfred HEER, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Christoph HOFFMANN, Germany, ALDE ; Ms Franziska HOOP, Liechtenstein, ALDE ; Mr Rafael HUSEYNOV, Azerbaijan, ALDE ; Ms Gyde JENSEN, Germany, ALDE ; Mr Aleksei JEVGRAFOV, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr Claude KERN, France, ALDE ; Mr Norbert KLEINWÄCHTER, Germany, EC/DA ; Ms Yevheniia KRAVCHUK, Ukraine, ALDE ; Ms Stephanie KRISPER, Austria, ALDE ; Mr Michael Georg LINK, Germany, ALDE ; Mr Max LUCKS, Germany, SOC ; Mr Arminas LYDEKA, Lithuania, ALDE ; Ms Ariana MUSLIU-SHOSHI, Assembly of Kosovo* ; Mr Julian PAHLKE, Germany, SOC ; Mr Dean PREMIK, Slovenia, ALDE ; Mr Alexander RYLE, Denmark, ALDE ; Ms Ketevan TURAZASHVILI, Georgia, NR ; Mr Kim VALENTIN, Denmark, ALDE ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

Combating sexual abuse of children and child abuse images, protecting those at risk and holding perpetrators accountable are immeasurably high priorities, as stated by the Parliamentary Assembly in Resolution 1834 (2011).

The European Commission’s proposal of a Regulation laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse (COM/2022/209 final) raises concerns regarding its compatibility with European fundamental rights, especially with the right to respect for private and family life and correspondence as guaranteed in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

While the regulation aims to remain technologically neutral, its broad scope would compel service providers to implement content verification tools leading to the use of client-side scanning, the breaking of end-to-end encryption and the scanning of personal cloud storages.

The concerns expressed by European data protectionists, legal experts and civil rights activists, as well as by the Ministers of Justice of several Council of Europe member States such as Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg and Switzerland should be taken seriously. While measures against sexual abuse of children and child abuse images must be strengthened, Council of Europe member States and the European Union should refrain from steps damaging European fundamental values.