More cases of sexual abuse of children recorded in Germany

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More cases of sexual abuse of children recorded in Germany

The number of known cases of sexual abuse of children and adolescents increased in Germany last year, according to a police report published on Monday.

However, as the police assume that there is a large number of unreported cases of this type of offence, this alone is not an alarming finding, the report states.

In 2023, the police were notified of 16,375 cases of children being sexually abused – an increase of 5.5% compared to the previous year.

In the same period, 1,200 offences were also recorded in which young people were sexually abused. The number of cases involving depictions of the sexual abuse of children increased by 7.4% to around 45,000 cases, mainly due to numerous reports from abroad.

In the situation report, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) points out that the number of child abuse cases uncovered is closely linked to police monitoring activities and reporting behaviour.

"In this respect, intensified police activities in the area of criminal offences in recent years are likely to have led to an increase in the number of unreported cases," the report said.

"Sexual abuse of children and adolescents is probably one of the most terrible and repugnant forms of crime," said Interior Minister Nancy Faeser at the presentation of the report.

Many victims are still very young; more than 2,200 girls and boys were under the age of 6 at the time of the abuse, the minister pointed out.

The reason why such investigations sometimes come to nothing is the minimum retention of telecommunications traffic data – especially IP addresses – which has been suspended in Germany.

Faeser reiterated her call for a new legally compliant regulation for the storage of telecommunications traffic and location data.


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