On the occasion of the Universal Children’s Day on the 20th of November, the independent humanitarian Institution “Hope for Children” UNCRC Policy Center announces the signing of the Communiqué for the No Grey Areas on the Internet.
Depictions of sexual exploitation of children ("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" – so called child pornography) are proscribed by law in many countries worldwide. However, the sexual exploitation of children is not manifested only through child abuse images. In our modern societies children can be sexualized and treated as sexual objects in many different ways, for example on the Internet through images depicting children in erotic or suggestive poses. These are part of so called “Grey Area” imagery that does not necessarily cross the lines drawn by the law to qualify as child sexual abuse imagery, but is exploitative in nature. It also violates children´s dignity and their right to privacy and damages their sense of security. These images are spread widely throughout the Internet and are much easier to find than child sexual abuse imagery.
There is a need for joint action against sexual exploitation of children on the Internet. After having met for a Round Table in Berlin, hosted by the German Federal Family Ministry in the framework of the German G7 Presidency, at the end of October and spreading the initiative further at the Internet Governance Forum in Brazil in November, eventually more than 30 organizations from many countries around the world have signed a joint Communiqué. Worldwide condemnation and combating those images in the Grey Area of child abuse and exploitation on the Internet is the postulation of organizations worldwide, dedicated to the welfare and protection of children.
The objective of the Roundtable was the adoption of a joint Communiqué for condemnation and proscription of Child Sexual Abuse Imagery CSAI in the "Grey Area“ by international child welfare organizations. This Communiqué is a call from the organizations to declare a policy of zero tolerance based on the expanded focus and understanding of exploitative imagery. The signing procedure at the Roundtable was scheduled directly after the address of State Secretary Dr. Kleindiek from the Federal Family Ministry.
"Hope For Children" UNCRC Policy Center has a consistent and inspirational approach to protecting and promoting the rights of the child and to support the active participation of children and youth in society. That is why "Hope For Children" UNCRC Policy Center supports this initiative and condemns child sexual exploitation and abuse on the Internet by emphasizing the respect for human rights regardless of age by promoting the rights of the child on a global scale.
"Hope For Children" UNCRC Policy Center signed the Communiqué for the condemnation of all forms of child sexual exploitation and abuse.