German authorities report sharp rise in distribution of child pornography

Germany reported a 53 per cent year-on-year increase in the distribution and production of child pornography as almost 19,000 cases were recorded by authorities last year, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) announced on Wednesday.

“The most serious crimes against children, such as sexual abuse or maltreatment, usually happen behind closed doors,” said BKA president Holger Muench. “That is why we are all called upon to be vigilant and take responsibility.”

In more than 40 per cent of cases last year, underage minors were responsible for the distribution or production of child pornography. There were nearly five times as many crimes related to child pornography committed by minors compared to the previous year, a sharp increase that the BKA considered “worrying.”

Children and young people were often unaware that they were committing a crime by passing on pornographic files, sometimes as a “dare game,” according to the BKA. In addition, many minors in Germany lacked sensitization to the topic, Xinhua reported.

“Certain forms of sexual abuse, such as cyber grooming, happen online,” Muench said, underlining the importance of teaching children “to be safety-conscious when using the internet.”–IANS