Minister Van der Steur wants to make sex chatting a crime

POSTED: 03/4/16 1:13 PM

THE HAGUE – Dutch Justice Minister Ard van der Steur wants to make ‘sex chatting’ with children a crime. In a briefing for MPs yesterday, he said sexualized communication with children should be criminalized, together with sexual extortion (also known as ‘sextortion’).

The proposals are part of wider measures to modernize the law on sexual offenses, taking into account ‘undesirable sexual behavior’ online, including sexting and revenge porn. The changes were developed following research by the University of Groningen and the Dutch justice ministry’s research division, the WODC. Currently, sex chatting with children and sextortion of minors are not crimes, but Van der Steur wants the new rules to deal specifically with behavior aimed at children. ‘The consequences can be profound and long-lasting for victims,’ says a government news release. ‘Frequent sex chat contact between an adult and a child can lead to abuse, both physical and via webcam…The child is often forced to conceal this contact, to describe or invent sexual fantasies online. This behavior can be viewed as sexually stalking or grooming a child, a process that can last for months or even years.’ Van der Steur expects the modernization program to be ready for consultation by this autumn. Some forms of sexual extortion are already illegal.

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