In a newspaper interview, a top official said the European Union aims to legislate in the coming months to oblige technology companies to do more to combat child sexual abuse, bolstering present voluntary agreements.

Ylva Johansson, EU Home Affairs Commissioner, told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag that internet service providers and social media companies recorded 22 million child sexual abuse offences in 2020, up from 17 million in 2019.

However, she stated that this was only a fraction of the true figure.

Johansson was cited as saying, “In the next months, I will propose legislation that will oblige firms to detect, report, and eradicate child sexual abuse.”

“Then a voluntary report will be insufficient.”

Under present EU regulations, social media networks, mail and message services, such as Facebook and Google, have the option of following up on offences or not.

According to Johansson, the fight against child sexual abuse should be better coordinated, and a specialised European centre should be established to promote prevention, law enforcement, and victim support.