Belgian government finally says that the activists of the Belgian association Werkgroep Morkhoven are right: child pornography and child pornography networks must be fought.
“Child porn taken down too slowly”
Annually, Child Focus receives around 1,300 anonymous notifications about child pornography through their dedicated website. While it is a positive thing that people are notifying them about these harmful images, there’s not much Child Focus can do about it.
In Belgium, it is forbidden to view child pornography. Thus, if an organisation like Child Focus visits the websites to analyse the images, they are breaking the law and could be prosecuted. While in reality the chance of Child Focus being prosecuted is very small, the images they analysed could be seen as illegal evidence in court.
As a result, Child Focus forwards the notifications and complaints to the Human Trafficking Division of the Federal Police. “The police has to analyse all the notifications to get rid of duplicate or wrongful complaints”, according to Ms De Pauw. “We could do this ourselves.”
The strict Belgian laws also hinder the effort of taking these images down rapidly. “The initiatives that came into action after the Dutroux scandal, made Belgium a harbinger in the battle against child pornography. However, these days, we are bringing up the rear.”