Government Take to Protect Children From Pornography Term Paper

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¶ … government take to protect children from pornography and sexual predators on the Internet?

Children are considered to be our most precious asset and the society's future. They offer the guarantee of a sound and continuous prospect for the years to come. However, nowadays, they are more and more the subjects of negative and coercive behavior that will eventually lead to a modification in the structure of their own being and ultimately damage the society. Therefore, it is up to the authorities and all those directly and indirectly involved taking actions to protect them and to ensure that the future generations will be able to take forward the heritage of the human kind.

We live in an era governed by technology and increased global interdependence that tends to manifest in every aspect of the society. It was therefore natural for children to have an increased access to everything involving gadgets, devices, and means of communication and information. At the same time however, these means are indeed available worldwide and do not discriminate between users and information receivers. This is why, more and more often, these universal means of communication have become a very common tool for those interested in pornographic and sexual practices. It can be said even that the Internet has facilitated their actions and now, pornography and sexual predators have an easier task in achieving their goals.

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Seeing that children represent an important segment of the society but at the same time the most vulnerable one, it is important to take into consideration possible links between them and the phenomenon of pornography and sexual abuse on the Internet. Therefore, the issue points out the clarification of certain issues.

Firstly, it would be essential to consider the meaning of pornography and sexual predators in its wider and general perspective. In addition, it is important to address the implications of the different communication means, with special focus on the Internet, especially if we take into account the technological evolution of our society.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Government Take to Protect Children From Pornography Assignment

Secondly, admitting that children are more exposed to novelty and thus more sensitive to any media influence, a consideration of the way in which these communication means are relevant for promoting child pornography and their impact is required.

Finally, the problem of pornography through the Internet and its implication for the children around the world is indeed an issue of great concern and cannot be dealt with outside the framework of concerted actions taken internationally. However, any decision must have the full support of national and local governments and authorities. It is, after all, their responsibility to implement and follow up on the general guidelines with precise actions that would address the exact issues specific to each country or region.

There are definitions that focus on specific aspects, but they cannot be considered to be universally available, given the fact that cultural differences in the meaning of such notions as "obscene," or "erotic" automatically limit their range. The United Nations, through its High Commissioner for Human Rights considered in relatively concise terms the definition of child pornography. In the "Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography," it regarded child pornography as "any representation, by whatever means, of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes." (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2000, art. 2)

Similarly, the Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe underlines a rather more elaborated definition, considering child pornography "shall include pornographic material that visually depicts a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; a person appearing to be a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; realistic images representing a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct."(Council of Europe, 2001, art. 9)

Another opinion points out to the precise content of the material considered to be pornographic. Thus, Interpol's specialized organ interprets child pornography as "any means of depicting or promoting sexual abuse of a child, including print and/or audio, centered on sexual act or the genital organs of children." (Interpol, 2006) No matter the degree of generality, all definitions underline the idea of the use of sexually explicit positions for one's own personal pleasure or for financial gain.

There are different means of dissemination of the information and images that could be labeled as pornographic. The most common forms of pornography take the form of visual materials that can be distributed through different channels. On the one hand, pornographic images can be presented in various discussion groups that "openly show their tendency in regard to their attitude towards children which leave little room for the interpretation of their purposes. These groups are relatively visible to anybody." (MAPI, n.d.) These groups can take the form of physical gatherings or virtual ones. In the latter case, people around the world can link and exchange pornographic material or experiences.

On the other hand, the Internet is thus another element that intermediates the connection between pedophiles and facilitates their activities, as the United Nations pointed out "Internet created unprecedented opportunities, together with the challenges and threats of its abusive and harmful use. Cyberspace hosts an alarming quantity of child pornographic material." (UN Economic and Social Council, 2004)

Thus, the Internet is the most effective instrument in the wide range of new technological innovations that, according to Tink Palmer and Lisa Stacey increase the children's availability for those wishing to take advantage of them. (Palmer and Stacey, 2004) it represents the best and most rapid environment for pedophiles to form their own identity and satisfy their needs, "it allows an individual to quickly find other individuals they did not previously know with the same interests (...) it even permits children to be contacted and enticed into an online or offline relationship." (Williams, 1999) Although in most cases, the rapid exchange of information is benefic and important for the evolution of relations, in the case of child pornography this has proven to be essentially damaging for the actions destined to prevent the proliferation of the phenomenon.

A similar situation occurs in the case of the public nature of the Internet. In the beginning, this characteristic has represented one of the strong points of the World Wide Web. It enabled full access to information to every person with a personal computer and an internet connection. Still, it did have its side effects, as this unrestricted access also made possible for those unaware of child pornography to experience it. Thus, "this sordid trade had moved from the relative obscurity of private exchanges of non-digital images and films, in person and through the postal service, to the instant transfer of material in a medium which anyone with a computer and a modem could access." (Williams, 1999, 3) This constant scene of negative aspects revolving around the Internet and its virtual universality has raised many questions that take into account the ration between the benefits it proves and the costs people have to pay. However, despite its obvious negative impact, the public nature of the Internet cannot be questioned or limited, especially because of the other benefits it produces in terms of access to information worldwide.

Therefore, briefly summing up it can be said that indeed, technology is an essential part in the overall evolution of our society and life without it would be hard to imagine. Even so, in recent time, it has been used to facilitate negative activities that have, in their turn, an important impact on the society.

The Internet has various means for providing users with connections from around the world. One would be the simple request for images of children on different sites, which are well-known for satisfying these sorts of requests. Another one is the actual posting of chat requests, in either real time or video exchange. Yet another means, through which one can establish contact, be it with those interested in child pornography or vulnerable children themselves, is the discussion forums where questions are posted and answered and thus relationships evolve. (a Elisabeth)

These are seen as rather efficient if statistics are taken into consideration. For instance, "one third of 9-19-year-olds in a UK study who go online at least once a week report having received unwanted sexual (31%) or nasty comments (33%) via email, chat, instant message or text message." (Livingstone and Bober, 2004) on the other hand, the same study underline the fact that the Internet is indeed the favorite means for contacting users with similar interests or vulnerable children, seeing that a tenth of the children aged 9 to 16 have suffered physical threat and abuse after meeting with someone with whom they had met on the Internet. (Livingstone and Bober, 2004) Thus, it can be said that the Internet does provide the virtual environment for the development of such activities, with relative success for the sexual predators.

The problem represents a stringent issue on the international agenda and is the subject… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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