Child pornography reports spike following shock ‘porn movie’ campaign by Child Focus
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    Child pornography reports spike following shock ‘porn movie’ campaign by Child Focus

    The shock campaign prompted a complaint to be filed with the Jury for Ethical Practices on Advertising. Credit: Child Focus.

    Child pornography reports have spiked following the shock ‘porn movie’ campaign that was launched and subsequently taken offline by Child Focus at the end of November.

    Since the release of the campaign for the occasion of the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Abuse, the child protection organisation has recorded a 217% increase in reports of child pornography, Le Soir explains.

    On this basis, Child Focus is pushing for the introduction of a draft resolution in the European Parliament by Belgian MP Hilde Vautmans (Open VLD), which incorporates requests made by the organisation.

    Launched on 17 November, the shock ‘porn movie’ campaign used adult actors to reconstruct a video of sexual abuse of an 8-year-old girl. The video, which was intended to shock policy-makers into action, was not received well by families of victims and drew considerable criticism.

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    The Flemish association IMLandelijk lodged a complaint about the campaign with the Jury for Ethical Practices on Advertising, claiming that the images broadcast were shocking and traumatising for those who have experienced sexual abuse in the past.

    Child Focus apologised to victims and took the video offline only a week after it was launched.

    In 2018, Child Focus received 1,728 reports of images of child pornography, marking an increase of 136% compared to 2017.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times