The non-punishment of victims of trafficking finally inserted in Belgian law

Imagine a Nigerian minor forced into prostitution with false documents. Or children forced to commit robberies in organized gangs. While being victims of trafficking of human beings, these minors are also perpetrators of crimes committed under duress. Can justice prosecute them? Yes, but since July 1 2019, these victims can no longer be punished for offences resulting from their exploitation.

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Sexual abuse of minors in the Church: the obligation to denounce, a real step forward?

On May 9, Pope Francis introduced a new decree into canon law requiring the denunciation of cases of sexual violence against minors. This text was eagerly awaited by the victims, does it keep all its promises?

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Rape without physical contact, is it punishable by law?

Yes, in a judgment of 25 September last, the Brussels Court of First Instance sentenced a man for rape of a minor, without the author having had any physical contact with his victim, the abuse taking place by means of a webcam. A verdict that will hopefully set a precedent because it sweeps away the idea that rape cannot be committed “at a distance”, as is the case with new technologies. Read more…

Petit Paul, a well-founded polemic?

For several weeks, critics have been hovering around the comic book Petit Paul, an adult book telling the story of a 10-year-old boy with a disproportionate sex. Because it illustrates extremely explicit sexual acts between a minor boy and adult women, this comic book rightly shocked many readers. Read more … 

Lessons learned on how to improve child protection in the humanitarian sector: ECPAT Belgium’s standpoint

Lessons learned on how to improve child protection in the humanitarian sector: ECPAT Belgium’s standpoint

On February, the 9th 2018, newspapers started disclosing allegations affecting Oxfam UK: after the earthquakein Haiti (2010), aid workers allegedly paid to have sex with young local women, perhaps minors. What Oxfam is being blamed for is not so much its employees’ behaviour – no NGO being immune to a breach of its Code of conduct – but the way these facts were handled.

“Second-hand child for sell, rather good condition”

“Second-hand child for sell, rather good condition”

Dominic would like a family who would support him. He would love to cook for his new family, and he would like to be the youngest or only child. And here is Sabey. Sabey would like to be adopted by a traditional family, with two parents and other kids”. These product-like descriptions are spelled out by a middle-aged woman, standing at the back of a long catwalk. She holds a microphone in her hands and smiles at the audience. Her aim today is to manage to sell at least one child.

Child Sexual Abuse Materials and the Internet: Influences and Motives of CSAM users online

Since their very beginning, new technologies have been used to perpetrate crimes related to child sexual abuse. Indeed, they provide for an ideal environment for the production, acquisition, possession and distribution of child sexual abuse materials, while guaranteeing anonymity to their users. Moreover, they allow individuals having a sexual attraction for children to meet, share their experience and find justifications to their deviant behaviour.

This analysis is the first part of a diptych dedicated to child sexual abuse materials on the Internet. It aims at throwing a closer look on the motives, influences and interactions between users of child sexual abuse materials and the justifications they use to minimize their behaviour.

Child Sexual Abuse Materials and the Internet: Challenges for the Law Enforcement Agencies

Even if the extent of child sexual abuse materials on the Internet is difficult to evaluate, experts agree on the fact that it is huge and will increase in the years to come. Consequently, this second analysis on child sexual abuse materials and the Internet is focused on challenges faced by law enforcement agencies to quantify this phenomenon and find new materials but also on measures set up at the national, European and international level.

In the Shadows of the Internet: Child Sexual Abuse Materials in the Darknets

Darknets are private networks guaranteeing anonymity to their users for different activities, among them file sharing. The common philosophy adopted in this underground of the Internet being a complete rejection of any censorship, these networks are also used for the exchange and dissemination of child sexual abuse materials. Because of their hidden nature, they represent a constant challenge for law enforcement forces. Exploration of the dark face of the Internet…

The lack of protection of young European migrants. Findings and recommendations of Mario II project

The transition of Central and Southern Eastern Europe countries towards a market economy, combined with the freedom of movement of people/goods has pushed young people on the roads towards Western Europe. However, these young migrants are at-risk of being trafficked. Upon arrival in another EU country, they have no guarantee of being protected by the national protection systems, more focused on (third-country) nationals and often excluding migrants from the EU. This analysis presents the Mario II project aiming at raising awareness of policy-makers on the difficulties faced by these young migrants and formulating recommendations for improvements.