Germany reports 53% spike in distribution, production of child porn

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Germany has 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.

“The most serious crimes against children, such as sexual abuse or maltreatment, usually happen behind closed doors,” Xinhua news agency quoted BKA President Holger Muench as saying in a statement on Wednesday.

“That is why we are all called upon to be vigilant and take responsibility,” Muench added.

In more than 40 per cent of the cases reported 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 sensitisation to the topic.

“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”.

Earlier this month, German authorities shut down “one of the biggest darknet child pornography platforms in the world” and arrested four of its members.

According to the BKA, the website, known as “Boystown”, the world’s largest for child pornography with more than 400,000 users, had existed since at least 2019.

It was “set up for the worldwide exchange of child pornography, in particular images of the abuse of boys”.

–IANS

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