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→WhAT is CHILD PORNOGRAPHY? | cc.newspaper

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Child pornography

What is Child Pornography?

Child pornography has different legal definitions in different countries. The minimum defines child pornography as an image showing a person who is a child and who is engaged in or is depicted as being engaged in explicit sexual activity.

In addition, in some countries knowingly possessing child pornography is also a criminal offence (such as in Spain). Sometimes the definition of child pornography includes computer generated or altered images (morphed images). Sometimes it includes cartoon characters. The requirement for the image (text, etc) to show a child engaged in explicit sexual activity has created some difficult problems in relation to pictures of children being abused but with no sexual activity involved.

There are significant differences in dealing with child pornography on the internet. For the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention child pornography is:

For the purpose of paragraph 1 above, the term "child pornography" shall include pornographic material that visually depicts:

a. a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct;
b. a person appearing to be a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct;
c. realistic images representing a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

What is the difference between child pornography and adult pornography?

Many people find it difficult to imagine pornographic images of children, and therefore do not understand what is meant by "child pornography". What is important for people to keep in mind is that child pornography is the depiction of a crime where a child is the victim. Images of adults engaged in sexual activities with a child are nothing less than images of an assault on that child. They are images of the sexual abuse of a child and when those images are distributed through the internet that child is violated over and over again.

Adult pornography has different legal definitions and different levels of acceptability in different countries. The minimum defines pornography as a picture (video, dvd, audio, text) that shows a person who is an adult and who is engaged in or is depicted as being engaged in explicit sexual activity. There is quite a high degree of consensus at the European level that access to certain material might affect the physical and mental development of minors and should be allowed only for adults, this is the case of adult pornography.

What is a paedophile ring?

A paedophile ring is a group of people working together across the internet in different countries and jurisdictions to collect and distribute child pornography for their own gratification. This can also involve sharing expertise and experiences on avoiding detection and planning criminal activities against children.

How do paedophile rings use the internet?

There is a strong perception that the internet has become a major factor in the development of paedophile rings world-wide and many recent convictions in the United States and in the United Kingdom have shown that the medium is being widely used by members of such rings, both to share experience and to traffic in child pornographic images.

The dissemination of child pornography is causing major concern to the International Agencies engaged in the protection of minors. Irrespective of the routes used for disseminating child pornography the problem continues to be serious in Western Europe where major child pornography rings have been uncovered in Denmark, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

As these networks increasingly use advanced telecommunications technologies, making use of encryption and code names, they have become more and more difficult to uncover.

What is grooming?

Grooming occurs when paedophiles use chat rooms to groom children for abuse by pretending to be teenagers themselves. Chat rooms are hosted on the internet and can be accessed by anyone from anywhere in the world. Chat rooms are often considered safe by children because of the public nature of the conversations AND the incorrectly perceived anonymity.

Paedophiles initiate conversations with likely victims to develop a relationship with the victim and to elicit as much information about location, interests, hobbies and sexual experiences. This relationship develops then into conversations of sexual nature and sometimes paedophiles send children images of pornography - both adult and child - to instil a sense of acceptability and normality. This is then used to undermine the reluctance of children to participate in a sexual encounter. It is also used to prevent the victim from seeking protection from their parents and teachers, since they end up feeling guilty for exchanging such images.
For more useful information on grooming visit

Where can internet users report child pornography or other illegal content or activity found on the internet?
If you have found a website or activity on the internet you suspect to be illegal, don't ignore it, make a report to your national hotline The INHOPE network of hotlines focuses its main line of work in the eradication of illegal content on the internet, specifically child pornography. There are presently 19 European hotlines in the network.

All INHOPE hotlines have well established and formal procedures to report these contents to the Law Enforcement Agencies in their own countries. They also exchange amongst themselves content hosted in other countries with INHOPE hotlines making the Law Enforcement investigations and the removal of such content from the internet a faster and more effective procedure. However, INHOPE itself does not run a hotline, it does not receive reports of illegal content on the internet.

Users can easily access all INHOPE hotlines through INHOPE’s website. There they can simply choose the country where they live from a list, click on the link and fill in any details they have using the online form provided by the national hotline.

If the user’s country is not listed, but he/she thinks they know where the website is hosted, the user should report to the hotline in that country instead. Alternatively they can choose any hotline from the list in case they do not have that information. The national hotline will conduct a full investigation on the content and take the necessary action in line with their national legislation.

What is a hotline?

According to the definition provided by INHOPE, the international network of hotlines, hotlines must provide a mechanism for receiving complaints from the public about alleged illegal content and/or use of the internet; they must have effective transparent procedures for dealing with complaints and they must have the support of government, industry, law enforcement, and internet users in the countries of operation.

In addition to these requirements, to be a member of INHOPE, a hotline must co-operate with other members in exchanging information about illegal content, share their expertise, make a commitment to maintain confidentiality and respect the procedures of other members. There is probably a hotline in your country if you wish to report illegal content, just visit INHOPE’s website.

Now go to your national node’s website to find useful links and further information.


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