TOMAS – Towards UnifOrMed Legislation Against CSAM

The TOMAS (Towards UnifOrMed Legislation Against CSAM) project is a proactive and collaborative initiative that addresses the problem of online sexual exploitation of children in the Western Balkans. In a digital age where children extraordinary benefit from the advantages of technology, such as unlimited access to information and communication, the project highlights the pressing issues of vastly growing problem of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) and Grooming. CSAM has become a significant worry, due to the lack of control mechanisms for online content and behaviors harmful to children. Reports from the US National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline indicate over 32 million cases of suspected child sexual abuse online in 2022.

The TOMAS emphasize the urgency of addressing this issue, recognizing the need for a coordinated response to the impending threat posed by the subsequent rise in CSAE cases. The project consortium, comprising three CSOs from different Western Balkan countries (Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia), will collaborate with the Eurochild, to prevent the region from becoming a hub for CSAM. Namely, the project’s key focus is to align national legislations with the EU proposal for a Regulation to Prevent and Combat Child Sexual Abuse, fostering timely adjustments and enhancing online child protection.

The Overall goal of TOMAS project is to improve the situation in the Western Balkan in the field of combating online sexual exploitation of children. This will be achieved through activities of regional CSOs in cooperation with their EU counterpart Eurochild, aimed at influencing decision makers in 3 WB countries: Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania, for introduction of legal framework, aimed at for adjusting their national legislative frameworks with the ongoing process related to the proposed EU Regulation to Prevent and Combat Child Sexual Abuse.

The TOMAS project is being implemented from December 2023 until November 2025 by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children from Serbia, as the leading partner, along with two partner organizations: the Center for Child Rights from Albania, and the First Children’s Embassy in the World “Megjashi” from North Macedonia,  as part of the SMART Balkans – Civil society for shared society in the Western Balkans, financed by SMART Balkans – Civil society for shared society in the Western Balkans, which contributes to strengthening participatory democracies and Euro Atlantic integrations in the Western Balkans.

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