International failure to identify and protect children on child abuse images (child pornography)
date published: 10/10/2006
A new report published today (Tuesday, 10th October) reveals serious gaps in the protection of sexually abused children whose abuse has been filmed or photographed and distributed over the Internet. Heres the link.
Interpol's Child Abuse Image database has more than 200,000 images showing the sexual abuse of over 20,000 individual children. However, less than 500 of these children have been identified and given the protection they need.
”Visible Evidence – Forgotten Children” finds that despite this wealth of evidence little is being done by governments at national, EU and international level to identify and protect these children.
"Save the Children is gravely concerned that so few children have been identified and protected from ongoing abuse despite the access to primary evidence of a criminal act being committed against a child. It is unacceptable that so little is being done when there are so many children at risk, says Vernon Jones, of Save the Children Denmark.
Jones continued: “While we cannot do much about the fact that these images continue to circulate on the Internet, we can improve our efforts in identifying and protecting children who continue to be sexually abused in the production of them.”
Adds Elizabeth Skogrand, Save the Children Norway: 'Child sexual abuse is an immense global problem and a serious violation of children's rights. The advance of the new technologies has meant that perpetrators can easily exploit the technology for the production and distribution of child abuse images.
Without concerted political backing, the capacity to address the issues of children made vulnerable through the new technologies will remain fragmented. Governments at national, EU and international level must be held accountable and do everything they can to address this '.
Save the Children are calling for political commitment to victim identification, coordinated international and national police efforts as well as clear mandates and ownership of investigations. Increased financial, technical and human resources must be made available.
Save the Children also call for increased focus on child protection and improved support services for children having survived abuse. This requires training of child protection professionals, updated statistics and increased academic research on the extent and consequences of Internet-related sexual abuse of children.
“Visible Evidence – Forgotten Children” gives a clear indication as to how identification procedures can be improved by implementing a child protection and children's rights focus.