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Child pornography or refers to pornographic material depicting children. It has been described as a form of child sexual abuse[1] and is illegal in most countries, although a controversial British ruling argued that mere access to it could be interpreted as a victimless crime.[2]

Relation to child abuse

Where child pornography involves depictions of children engaging in sexual conduct, the production of this material will in itself be legally prohibited as child sexual abuse in most countries. The profit that can be generated from selling such images is seen as a factor in encouraging the original abuse that is photographed or filmed. On the other hand, it has been argued that laws against the possession of child pornography constitute Thought crime.[3]

Substantiated cases of child sexual abuse in the US declined dramatically in number between 1992 and (at least) 1998.[4] A substatantial decline also appears to have occured in Australia.[5] In contrast, the United Kingdom Children's charity NCH have stated that demand for child pornography on the Internet has led to an increase in sex abuse cases,[6] though this conflicts with the Office for National Statistics's 2007 report on Child Protection Registers, which shows a decrease of approximately 27% in the number of sexually abused children between 2003 and 2007 on the register.[7]

Whether or not artificially created erotic or pornographic material (e.g., lolicon, some pornographic dōjinshi, etc.) constitutes "child abuse" is highly disputed, as no actual children are necessarily involved in the production.

Link between viewing child pornography and subsequent acts of child sexual abuse

The purported link between use of child pornography and child abuse has been used to justify the prohibition of sexual depictions of children, whether their production involves child abuse or not.[8] This link is itself disputed:[9] Sex therapist Petr Weiss[10] and Canadian Justice Jeff Shaw,[11] for instance, have argued that child pornography use may decrease cases of child sexual abuse by allowing pedophiles to sublimate their desires.

Effects on the children


In Canada

Canadian law forbids the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography. Prohibition covers the visual representations of sexual activity by children under 18 and the depiction of their sexual organ/anal region for a sexual purpose, unless an artistic, educational, scientific, or medical justification can be provided. It also includes the written depictions of children engaging in sexual activity.[12]

Law that addresses dynamic aspects of the Internet by regulating the nature of live-time chatting and email communications that may relate to enticing children for pornographic (e.g., web cam) or other sexual purposes has passed in 2002.[13] It also criminalizes the intentional access of child pornography.[14]

In the Philippines

On September 15, 2007, the Children and Youth Secretariat of the Anti-Child Pornography Alliance (ACPA-Pilipinas) in the Philippines launched Batingaw Network "to protect and save children from all forms of abuses and exploitations." It is the largest anti-child pornography movement in the Philippines to date. It declared September 28 as the "National Day of Awareness and Unity against Child Pornography.[15]

See also


  1. Hobbs, Christopher James; Helga G. I. Hanks, Jane M. Wynne (1999). Child Abuse and Neglect: A Clinician's Handbook, 328, Elsevier Health Sciences. ""Child pornography is part of the violent continuum of child sexual abuse""
  2. Anger at child porn sentence BBC News | 29 May 2001 (Retrieved 29 May 2007)
  4. Jones, L., and Finkelhor, D. (2001). The Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases. Bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
  5. Dunne, Purdie, Cook, Boyle, & Najman (2003). "Is Child Sexual Abuse Declining? Evidence from a Population-Based Survey of Men and Women in Australia," Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, 27(2):141-52
  6. includeonly>"Internet porn 'increasing child abuse'", Guardian Unlimited, Guardian News and Media Limited, 2004-01-12. Retrieved on 2007-06-01. (in English) “Demand for child pornography on the internet has led to an increase in sex abuse cases,”
  7. DCSF: Referrals, Assessments and Children and Young People who are the subject of a Child Protection Plan or are on Child Protection Registers, England - Year ending 31 March 2007
  8. Government of Canada (1984). Report of the Committee on Sexual Offences against Children and Youth, Vols. 1-11, and summary, Government of Canada, Department of Supply and Service as "Badgely Report; Cat. No. J2-50/1984/E, Vols. 1-11, H74-13/1984-1E, Summary".
  9. Child Pornography: An International Perspective, p.8. "Considerable controversy exists within the social and behavioural science community about the negative effects, if any, of child pornography upon the behaviour of potential or actual offenders. ... Many researchers have come to the conclusion that there is no sound scientific basis for concluding that exposure to child pornography increases the likelihood of sexual abuse of children. Others have suggested that there is a consistent correlation between the use of pornography and sexual aggression."
  10. Child porn consumers safe from prosecution in the Czech Republic. "Every civilized country protects children from premature sex and so the production of child porn is, of course, punishable. But on the other hand, child porn can help pedophiles to fulfill their deviant needs on the fantasy level and therefore they do not need to put into practice their pedophile urges. So abuse of children may actually decrease with the use of child porn."
  11. Child-porn law is struck down by B.C. judge
  12. Criminal Code of Canada, section 163ff, accessed 2008-01-10
  13. STRONGER CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LAWS RECEIVE ROYAL ASSENT. Government of Canada. URL accessed on 2008-02-04.
  14. BILL C-15A: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL CODE AND TO AMEND OTHER ACTS. The Parliament of Canada. URL accessed on 2008-02-04.
  15. Abs-Cbn Interactive, Batingaw vs child porn launched

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