By Malou Guanzon-Apalisok
Cebu Daily News
8:52 am | Monday, June 13th, 2011 0share5The arrest and prosecution of a couple who used their own children to engage in cyber pornography have caused a lot of apprehension among the population. However, more than the active participation of the Cordova couple in offering their children to on line sex predators, it is the disclosure of the mother and her 15-year-old son that is equally appalling.
According to the young man, his parents learned about the pornographic trade from their neighbor. During initial investigation, the mother told policemen she took up cybersex as a means of livelihood because she knew people who were also doing it. Fr. Alvin Lao, who tends the San Roque Parish said he heard about cybersex operations in homes since being assigned in Cordova six years ago. Fr. Lao said local church and lay leaders tried to discuss the problem with local officials but nothing came out of it.
Cybersex or cyber pornography is the dissemination of pornographic materials with the aid of electronic technology. This is a narrow definition because what happened in Cordova town and in many places where children are being used as sexual tools of adults is none other than pedophilia.
The unspeakable condition in the house raided by the NBI, and the seeming impunity of cybersex operations in homes as reported by Fr. Lao describe what an advocate of children’s rights and protection called the “culture of pedophilia.”
The American Heritage Dictionary defines pedophilia as “the act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children.” Children affected by pedophilia are prepubescent boys and girls (13 years old or younger). The online resource sexlaws.org notes that when teenagers are involved, the proper term is ephebophilia.
According to Fr. Fortunato di Noto, founder of Meter Association (Meter is Italian for womb), a protection agency actively battling pedophilia and child pornography, pedophilia is a crime but it is also a money machine with annual revenues amounting to $17 billion and a victim toll of 200,000 abused children, increasingly even babies and toddlers.
Last March, the Meter Association released its 2010 report, which was accomplished through Meter’s vigilant monitoring of the Internet in cooperation with the Italian police. Fr. Di Noto’s report published in Zenit said: “The sexual violence perpetrated is the most tragic and unspeakable, often detectable in family and criminal contexts; in some cases ad hoc sets have been made, including in shanty-towns.”
Easily, the most dreadful content of Meter’s 2010 report is “the detection of absurd blind and bestial sexual violence” against children, and the even more alarming problem of infantophilia, that is, sexual interest in children younger than 2 years of age.
Meter discovered that “57 percent of Internet servers that manage the traffic of child pornography are found in European countries, with 38 percent in the Americas, four percent in Asia, 0.4 percent in Africa, and 0.27 percent in Oceania.”
Fr. Di Note reported that “In Africa, 100 percent of these sites are located on servers in Libya. In the Americas, 94 percent of the sites are in the United States, two percent in the Dominican Republic, two percent in Ecuador, and two precent in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
Europe’s child pornographic operations rely “99 percent on Russian domains and the remaining one percent is divided between Italy, Liechtenstein, Ukraine, Rumania, Slovakia, Germany, Holland, Greece and Belgium. In Asia, Hong Kong dominates (50.1 percent), whereas the rest is divided between India, China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam.”
Fr. Di Noto’s report warned that “these crimes are growing, at a rate of almost 100 percent. Between 2003 and 2010, a total of 689,394 Web sites of this type were identified. In 2010 alone the association discovered 13,766 Web sites, social networks, services to exchange photo and video files and also e-mail addresses with pedophile content; this number increased from 7,240 in 2009.”
The group forged a formal agreement with the Italian authorities in 2008 which greatly helped the Italian police track down Internet crimes. Meter has been instrumental in leading the police to investigate sexual exploitation cases of minors as well as prosecuting criminals selling pornographic materials not just in Italy but in other countries.
The growth of pedophilia on social networks has contributed to the problem. In Italy, more than 18,000 children are enrolled in various social networking sites without the authority from parents or moral ascendants. It has been noted that children who use the Internet get enticed to meet with strangers without the knowledge and consent of their parents.
Meter’s responses include a hotline, where people can place anonymous calls, education campaign through 68 congresses in Italy and overseas, legal assistance to victims and close coordination with law enforcement authorities in tracking down the perpetrators of the unspeakable crime.
Related Columns:■Unspeakable crime■Demonizing Mike Rama■Caught in the crossfireTags: Children , Crime , cyber pornography , Internet , pedophile , Pornography , sex
Tags: Anti-child rape