Germany seeks to increase penalties for crimes of sexual violence against children

The German Democratic Party, to which German Chancellor Angela Merkel belongs, intends to increase penalties for crimes of sexual violence against children.

"The statistics demonstrate the continuing increase in cases of violence and sexual abuse of children and the spread of child pornography about them," said a note approved by the party's Internal Security Affairs Committee on this issue.

"We must make every effort to liberate children from such situations, and severely punish the perpetrators. The state and society are obligated to provide an effective protection shield for children," added the memo of the decision, which was viewed by the German news agency (dpa) on Saturday. The party demanded not only to improve preventive activity, but also to tighten sanctions.

Party experts considered that "sexual violence against children should have severe consequences," demanding that any protection gaps be closed.

"It must be examined whether the sexual crimes against children and adolescents should be suspended by statute of limitations ... There must be severe penalties for perpetrators. Only then can a signal of deterrence be broadcast," the memo said.

The party also demanded that child abuse be classified as a crime and not a crime, and thus the minimum penalty could become imprisonment for at least one year, in addition to increasing the penalty for possession or manufacture of child pornography for prison terms of up to five years instead of three.


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