The Battle against Child Pornography | Close up - The Current Affairs Documentary | DW | 28.05.2018
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Close up

The Battle against Child Pornography

In 2017, investigators shut down an international child pornography platform called "Elysium" on the Darknet. The platform allowed a large network of pedophiles to exchange photos and videos. How can children be better protected in the future?

Watch video 28:31

Prosecutors revealed that an estimated 87,000 users around the world had signed up with Elysium. Police seized huge quantities of pornographic images and videos. Frankfurt district attorney Andreas May -- an experienced investigator in internet cases involving child pornography -- said he was shocked by the sheer quantity of material on offer. May says that more has to be done to protect potential victims -- and that will require more than just police work. May recommends an increase in preventive measures, including psychological therapy programs for male pedophiles. This documentary explores proposals for cracking down on child pornographers, and protecting children. The report shows police investigators in Germany and in Southeast Asia as they seek to track down pornographic material and the people who post it on the web. An alarming new trend involves online child abuse. In the Philippines, children are forced to pose in front of web cameras -- and there are lots of men around the world who are willing to pay to see this. We see an investigation in Manila that ends with the arrest of the perpetrators, and the release of several children who had been forced to work for them. Some of the online clients were from Germany. For some, the viewing of child pornography represents a first step toward more serious crimes. Our report highlights the work of a regional court judge in Karlsruhe who has founded an organization that provides psychological therapy for convicted pedophiles. The judge, Klaus Böhm, says "I can lock up the perpetrators for a couple of years, but that doesn't get to the root of the problem."