In August of this year, an Atlanta man was charged with seven child pornography offences based on the evidence that he had convinced a nine year old girl to make sexually explicit videos for him, using her webcam. Also in August a Trinidad man was arrested in Miami having allegedly gone there to have sex with children whom he met in an online chatroom. As recently as November this year a Toronto man was charged with numerous counts of child pornography, after he was found in possession of ‘hundreds of thousands’ of images featuring horrific acts of sexual abuse. This arrest has triggered 341 arrests around the globe and resulted in the rescue of 346 children. All these arrests, the alleged perpetrators used what has turned out to be the number one tool in promoting the child pornography industry, the internet. With the continuing development of the electronic age, this global phenomenon has escalated into a multi- billion dollar industry, where the demand for child pornography have seen an increase in the number crimes being committed against children in order to meet this demand. In the meantime, lawmakers and law enforcement agencies are being challenged to curb this trend as they are continually being stalled because these crimes are committed across many platforms and borders around the Globe. With this in mind the World community has to come together to share one voice in combating not just the possessors, distributors or producers of child pornography, but the ones who commit these terrible act against our young children.
So what is child pornography? Many societies around the world have a legal definition of child pornography on their statutes, but unfortunately many differ in their interpretations, especially when it comes to the definition of a ‘child’ or ‘minor’. The age of consent has also become a pressing issue between different jurisdictions. However, there is a general consensus as to the legal definition, as a result most territories abide by this general consensus that child pornography can be defined as ‘any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where a) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; b) such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or c) such visual depiction has been created, adapted or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct’. (Uslegal.com). It is from this definition that the term ‘minor’ is contradicted by different jurisdictions. The age of consent for a person to engage in sexual activity differs from country to country. This can range between 12 and 21 years of age. In Western countries such as the United States and Canada the age of consent is between 16 and 18 years of age. In some African and Asian countries, child marriages are widespread and it allows females as young as 12 to get married and thereby have sex. Clearly there is a disconnect of how the world view children when it comes to the children’s involvement in sexual activity, so I ask this question, if 20 years ago an Asian man records sexual activities with his then 13 year wife and keeps the video tape secured in his safe at home, they then both migrate to Canada 10 years later and the man takes the tape with them, can he be found guilty in the Canadian court of law for possession of child pornography?
The role of the internet is crucial as the great supply of child pornography has led to a greater demand. Distributors has become more efficient, accessibility has become quite easy because of the little or no cost in accessing it, and because of this pornographic images from all parts of the world can...
References: CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LAW AND LEGAL DEFINITION. Retrieved from www.definitions.uslegal.com
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Hamilton,M.(2012). The Child Pornography Crusade And Its Net-Widening Effect. Cardozo Law Review.33,no.4:1679-1732.Retrieved from Gale Database.
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Ward,M.(2013,July,1).Web Porn:Just How Much Is There?BBC News Technology. Retrieved from www.bbc.co.uk.
Wortley,S & Smallbone,S.(2006,May). Child Pornography On The Internet. Center For Problem-Oriented Policing. Retrieved from www.cops.usdoj.gov.
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