Child pornography and the rise of the Internet

Posted on Posted in Human Rights
Felix Montino Flickr
Flickr Felix Montino

Under article 34 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, all UN Member States — except the United States —committed to protecting children from sexual abuse. This includes the fight against prostitution as well as involvement in pornographic performances.

What is child pornography?
According to EU law, images showing children taking part in a sexual act or where the child’s naked body is revealed are considered as child pornography.
In Germany, the EU directive on “sexual abuse”, or more accurately “child pornography”, is yet to be implemented. In light of the Edathy affair, there is an urgent need for action. The former deputy of the Bundestag, Sebastian Edathy, had acquired images of naked children, but did not receive any prison sentence. Indeed, in Germany, the term “child pornography” does not yet include images of the bodies of naked children.

Child pornography on the Internet
As a result of the dramatic rise of the internet, it’s now considerably easier to have access to child pornography. Offenders exploit this, to the point the Internet has become a platform for commercial trade. In this way, child pornography extends beyond national borders, which presents great difficulties for local police investigations.
Through the difficult-to-control circulation of filmed sexual acts, abused children are continuously confronted with their trauma for years or even their whole lives. Until now, it has been almost impossible for them to confront their past.
Google and Facebook do their best to fight against child pornography, aiming to restrict its circulation on the Internet. As a result, techniques allowing for the long-term prevention of the distribution of perverse images are being developed.

Nevertheless, this seems to be just a drop in the ocean since it is far from a comprehensive solution to the problem. In fact, the child pornography market represents a trillion euros and has been increasing in recent years. It’s time for action!

Written by : Nadia Al & Anne-Muriel Raharimanana
Translated by: Katie Gibson
Proofread : Valérie Ollier