Dublin 2008

Eradicating commercial child pornography

On 18 April 2008, we convened in Dublin once again, this time focusing on commercial child pornography.

The purpose of this second meeting in Dublin was to assess the progress made toward accomplishing the goals of the 2002 Dublin Plan, build greater awareness, increase global momentum to eliminate commercial child pornography, and bring about further action to protect the world’s children.

“Because the problem knows no boundaries, our response to it can know no boundaries.”Brian Lenihan, Former Minister of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Republic of Ireland

Participants in the day-long roundtable looked at a number of general themes, including the need to:

  • Change laws in many countries to build a consistent legal framework;
  • Replicate efforts globally to match the effectiveness of the U.S. Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography;
  • Establish clear guidelines to allow private-sector companies to help fight child pornography, taking advantage of the strong momentum in Europe; and
  • Focus on a variety of payment instruments, not just credit cards, used in online financial transactions.

The expanded action plan that participants agreed upon during this second Dublin Forum contains 13 action items:

  1. Continue examining language and terminology. A number of the European representatives expressed a concern that the use of the phrase “child pornography” minimizes the impact on victims and emboldens criminals. The use of “child sexual abuse images” or “sexually abusive images of children” is a more accurate description.
  2. Expand within financial institutions the systems capacity to examine and address these issues, including the capacity to identify and report suspicious transactions.
  3. Engage more financial institutions, especially in Europe, using a number of approaches to secure top banks’ involvement, including assistance from the European Commission and existing members in the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography.
  4. Research the feasibility of using/sharing lists of identified commercial child pornography customers with financial institutions to better enable companies to bar such customers from using their systems.
  5. Focus on “peering point” ISPs, web hosting companies, domain registries, and other critical targets on the Internet.
  6. Mobilize the more than 2,000 law-enforcement officers ICMEC has trained around the globe and explore options for providing a forum for law enforcement officers to interact and expand their knowledge.
  7. Pursue civil legal action against commercial child pornography businesses and/or the companies that enable them, including brand damage or breach of contract lawsuits.
  8. Support efforts to build a European Coalition of Stakeholders.
  9. Engage with the mobile industry.
  10. Expand and promote the use of blocking of images, such as the Internet Watch Foundation model, focusing on the worst of the worst images.
  11. Develop a system for notice and takedown that addresses potential legal issues.
  12. Explore a role for ICMEC at the 3rd World Congress Against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents in Brazil in November 2008.