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Fighting Child Porn

DW staff / AFP (th)May 25, 2007

The Group of Eight highly industrialized nations pledged to re-double their efforts to fight child pornography and are calling on Internet service providers to help stop the exploitation of children.

The G8 countries want to stop the exploitation of childrenImage: Bilderbox

Interior and justice ministers from the G8 nations met in Munich Thursday to discuss ways to battle child pornography.

"Because no child should be victimized in this horrific way, today we pledge to re-double our efforts to enforce the international fight against child pornography," the ministers said in a joint declaration.

Internet poses challenges

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Internet service providers seen as partners in stopping child pornographyImage: AP

German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said countries had been slow to adapt to the challenges produced by the rapid development of the Internet which had facilitated the distribution of child pornography.

"We have all adopted specific legislation to fight this phenomenon, but we still have to make progress in transferring international agreements in this area into our domestic laws," Zypries said.

The ministers also discussed the necessity of getting help from Internet providers since the Internet makes it easy for pedophiles to share child pornography.

"We need to put in place rules in every country to ensure that Internet providers inform the authorities if they find images of pedophilia," said French Justice Minister Rachida Dati.

The G8 ministers also want to encourage information technology professionals, banks, the media, parents and educators to "consider what role they could play in the fight," according to a statement. Germany recently uncovered a child pornography ring by using credit card information.

Exploitation crosses borders

Deutschland Verbrechen Kinderpornographie
The fight against child pornography needs to be as high tech as the perpetratorsImage: AP

Zypries used the recent case of a 4-year-old British girl who disappeared earlier this month in Portugal, as an example of the need for international cooperation.

"We simply have to assume that this was done by a gang that passes on these children to be exploited, and Russia as well mentioned the danger ... that such children may be abducted for adoption later on," she said to reporters.

The G8 works with Interpol to combat child pornography and helped establish the International Child Sexual Exploitation Image Database, which helps police identify and rescue victims of such abuse.

The head of Interpol briefed the ministers on its activities.

Interpol Secretary-General Ronald K. Noble said in an interview with Reuters that the database now contains more than half a million images of children being sexually exploited and has helped secure the rescue of over 500 children worldwide.

Noble showed Reuters a number of database photos, which showed caucasian adult males engaged in sex acts with Asian boys, activities that would be clearly illegal. This reflects the majority of cases in which US or European males travel to countries like Thailand or Cambodia where they sexually exploit children, Noble said in the Reuters interview.

The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States will gather for a G8 summit in Germany's Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm in early June.