In March 2018 Dutch RTL News revealed the existence of the 'Peadophile Handbook'. Minister Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is going to criminalize the sharing and possession of it. A good development.
Researchers from Terre des Hommes had already found the so-called 'Pedo Handbook' on the darkweb as a bycatch one and a half years before RTL News published on its existence. But we decided not to mention it in public. This ‘to not let the fox guard the hen-house’, as our then project leader put it.
“The content of the manual is reprehensible, it is a kind of training how to seduce children into sexual abuse”, according to one of our researchers. The manual contains nearly 1000 pages and has been shared and distributed on the darkweb for years.
Yet Terre des Hommes was happy with the publicity in 2018. Indirectly, it also encouraged the minister to take action. The distressing conclusion in 2018 was that downloading, viewing, possessing and sharing of this reprehensible manual was not punishable whatsoever.
At the initiative of Minister Grapperhaus, this will now change two years after the unveiling by RTL News. Terre des Hommes is pleased with the criminalization to four years in prison. This also gives the police more investigative possibilities.