Paedophiles take advantage of Internet
Date: January 13, 2004
LONDON: Child pornography crime has rocketed in Britain over the past 13 years, largely due to computers and the Internet which allow paedophiles to prey on children and trade images of them, a study said yesterday.
Children’s charity NCH said 549 child porn offenders were either cautioned or charged in 2001, compared with only 35 in 1988 — a rise of 1,500 per cent.
NCH also warned in its study — entitled Child Pornography, Child Abuse and the Internet — that new technology such as third-generation Internet mobile phones with video streaming could make the problem even worse.
“The Internet is about to go mobile, and that could make many things more difficult to prevent or detect,” said John Carr, author of the study. “The scale of the problem has changed beyond recognition in just over a decade.”
“The increased demand has made child pornography into big business and the consequences for children in all parts of the world are horrifying.”
The report said the Internet had allowed a huge increase in the volume of child abuse images being viewed and collected and said such images acted as a “crucial trigger for some men to sexually abuse children”.
It also said online child pornography was now big business and warned that the involvement of organised crime in producing and distributing child porn on the web meant yet more children would be abused in the future.
Carr urged the Internet industry to improve technical tools to prevent access to child abuse images.
He also called for a “unified international approach” to child porn and urged the United States in particular — where many Internet child porn images originate — to dedicate more resources to tackling the problem.
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