"Grooming" and paedophile chat rooms on the Internet should be criminalized and sex crimes should be subject to an extraterritorial legislation, the European Parliament says in a report adopted on Tuesday.
The report calls on the European Union (EU) to fund prevention programs from its general budget. It calls for the criminalization of "all types of sexual abuse of children" including "grooming" --the action of soliciting children for sexual purposes.
The report was adopted with 591 votes in favor, 2 against and 6abstentions in a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
Providers of Internet chat rooms and forums where paedophile activities take place should be criminalized, says the report. Those whose work involves regular contact with children should also have the obligation to report situations where abuse is suspected. Applicants to certain posts working with children should also undergo criminal records check.
The report also calls on the EU member states to encourage the victims of sexual exploitation to file criminal and civil claims in the national courts against sex offenders.
Advertisements encouraging sexual abuse toward children should be prohibited, and child sex tourism should be considered a crime in all member states. Moreover, EU citizens who commit a sex crime outside the EU should be subject to uniform extraterritorial criminal legislation, according to the report.