This week in Strasbourg I addressed the Parliament on the measures we must take to combat child sexual abuse online.

The measure of any society is how we protect those who cannot protect themselves.

There are very few situations in life where there is an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but where the exploitation and abuse of children is concerned, there is no confusion. It is the worst kind of crime, and we must do all we can at every level, national, European and global, to eradicate such crimes, and punish those that seek to do children harm.

Arguments on freedom of expression and the right to privacy cease to be relevant.

And when we ask ourselves what needs to be done to stop this abuse, the answer is quite simple:we need to do everything we can.

We need to work with internet companies and providers, social media, schools, parents, communities and police authorities.

We need to block search results that lead to child abuse; we need to identify illegal images and take them down; we need to capture and prosecute perpetrators and provide justice for victims, and give ourselves the legislative tools to do so.

We need to offer victims the necessary help and assistance to go on with their lives and feel safe again.

We need far closer law enforcement cooperation across the EU, and far better data exchange with EUROPOL; we need to improve the use and content of the ICSE database amongst countries and we need the resources and expertise to achieve this.

There are too many dark corners of the internet where the most serious of criminals hide, and the most heinous of crimes are committed.

There is no greater task or responsibility that the protection of children in our society.

Our political differences have no place when discussing the protection of children. They need a united voice committed to protecting them, protecting their safety, and protecting their childhood.