On February 21, during his address to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that child abuse has been “declared as the norm of life” in the EU countries.
“Look at what they (Western countries – Ed.) are doing to their peoples, destroying the family, cultural and national identity. Perversion, child abuse, to the point of pedophilia, are declared as the norm of life,” he said.
The Fact Investigation Platform fact-checked this claim by President Putin.
In the EU countries, child abuse is a criminal offense. Fight against child abuse is conducted both through European and international conventions, as well as through domestic legislation.
Thus, in 2007, the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence came into effect. With the Stockholm Programme adopted by the EU in 2010, the fight against child abuse was declared as a priority. And in December 2011, the European Parliament and the Council updated the legislation against child abuse, replacing the framework decision adopted in 2004 with the Directive on Combating the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography.
In 2022, the European Council adopted a regulation laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse, which will be aimed at detecting cases of sexual abuse of children on the Internet.
Individual EU countries regularly review domestic legislation against child abuse. For example, in 2021, the French parliament passed a law that automatically characterises sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 15 as rape and is punishable by up to 20 years in jail.
Pedophilia, the sexual intercourse or sexual abuse of children, is also a criminal offense in the United States of America. Certain details may vary from state to state (for example, the age of consent may vary), but all state and federal laws prohibit child sexual abuse.
Putin’s claim is “an old Kremlin propaganda”
It is noteworthy that for a long time the Kremlin’s propaganda machine has circulated the provision that child abuse is considered a norm in Western countries and there is an intention to legalize it. Such false claims appear from time to time in the center of attention of fact-checkers in Western countries.
For example, the European anti-disinformation platform euvsdisinfo.eu fact-checked a number of statements generated in the Russian media about state propaganda and legalization of child abuse in the West and revealed their falsehood.
By the way, this series also includes a number of Armenian media resources reproducing provisions generated by Russian propaganda resources about child abuse in the West, for example, Livenews.am and Iravunk.com websites.
Thus, Vladimir Putin’s claim that child abuse has become a norm in Western countries is an obvious lie. Child abuse is a criminal offense in the mentioned countries, and the legislation to combat child abuse is regularly updated and tightened.