Warning for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the Inadequacy of the Protection of Minors from Access to Pornography

20/12/2022

Alliance VITA together with ‘Juristes pour l’Enfance’, a French association of lawyers which defends child rights, and the Evangelical Protestant Committee for Human Dignity (CPDH) sent a detailed report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on 15th December 2022, denouncing the failures of the French State for the protection of minors from access to pornography.

Highlighting the highly worrying data contained in the recent report by the French Senate[1], the three associations pointed out the damaging effects of early exposure to pornography, the link between it and sexual violence committed on minors or between minors as well as with the prostitution of minors.

They recalled that the International Convention on the Rights of the Child demands that States protect children from access to pornography and contents which are inappropriate for their age.

They denounced the major contradiction between, on the one hand, the stated political will to combat the access to pornography for minors and against the violence on minors and, on the other hand, the reality of the effective laxity with respect to the international pornography lobbies.

Five recommendations for France were sent to the Children’s Rights Committee which is due to convene in Geneva at the beginning of February 2023:

  • To launch studies in order to examine the consequences of the consumption of pornography on society and particularly on children, and especially concerning the committing of sexual violence on minors or between minors.
  • Application of the law prohibiting access to pornography for minors and imposing technical solutions on pornographic sites for such prohibition to be effective and to ensure such prohibition cannot easily be circumvented by minors.
  • To enable Arcom to impose sanctions and fines directly against pornographic sites, and extend its injunctions to the social networks and to internet access providers.
  • To demand from video sharing platforms and the social networks established in France or abroad, an obligation of resultsand not merely of means to ensure effective moderation of their content.
  • To educate parents and childrenon the risks of pornography through educational programmes and communication campaigns.

 

[1] French Senate report “Pornography: The hell of the landscape, 28th September 2022, The main points… p.3. https://www.senat.fr/notice-rapport/2021/r21-900-1-notice.html

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