Justice Min. to take tougher action against possible child sex offenders

Ard van der Steur (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons). (Ard van der Steur (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons))

Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice wants to modernize the law to make it illegal to chat to kids about sex online or via apps like WhatsApp, he wrote to the Tweede Kamer on Monday. He wants to make tougher action against possible child sex offenders possible, ANP reports.

This is in response to a study done by the University of Groningen, commissioned by the Scientific Research and Documentation Center. The study concluded that "various forms of digital fornication with children should be given a clear place" in legislation. Van der Steur hopes to have plans to do just that ready in the autumn.

According to the Minister, digital fornication can have a large impact on a child. He feels that punishment is suitable if a child "is drawn into a world of experience where he does not belong." In such cases the child is "often forced to corneal this contact, to describe online sexual fantasies or invent them", Van der Steur wrote. "This behavior can be regarded as sexual stalking or sexual encapsulation of a child, a process which can last for months or even years."

Van der Steur also plans tougher action against extortion with sexual photos, focusing on extortion intended to elicit more sexual acts from the victim. The current law already offers protection from extortion aimed to get money from the victim or harm his or her reputation.