"Child pornography is the record of sexual abuse against a child. It can be a visual, descriptive or audio depiction of a child engaged in sexual activity with an adult, other children or sometimes an animal. Child pornography has existed for a long time and dates as far back as ordinary pornography. However, it has now become 'a problem of international proportion with the development of computer technology' and the Internet. Prior to the 1980's child pornography was produced into paper-based photographic forms, magazines, videos and in drawings. After that period and during the late 1980's the child pronography industry saw the emergence of the Internet as a means of producing, possessing and distributing child pornography by paedophiles, child molesters and for financial gain. This has inevitably increased the demand for child pornography because with the Internet, it is now possible to quickly distribute the images to millions of people by just a click of the mouse. The increased demand for child pornography was enhanced by the nature fo the Internet. The Internet is a public international network of millions of computers, which is a unique medium of communication. It allows its users to express ideas, opinions and share information inexpensively, at a fast speed and to all imaginable locations including the privacy of people's homes. A growing democratising medium, it is uniquely suited to both the promotion and violation of human rights. Admittedly, child pornography itself is a violation of the fundamental human rights of children, however, the Internet increases the scope of these violations. The increase in the scope of violation is due to the fact that the Internet provides a means whereby child pronography can be made available and accessible to many Internet users at the same time, thereby duplicating the abuse. These violations, especially in relation to child pornography, have resulted in legal and non-legal responses aimed at regulating the content of the Internet. ... The study will be divided into five chapters. Chapter one lays the basis for the study and the context in which the study is set with a brief introduction on the topic. Chapter two defines concepts such as child pornography in relation to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of a child. The main focus of the chapter lies in the analysis of the exacerbated effects of child pornography on the Internet on the victims and on the society. Chapter three explores the legal responses to the problem with a view to demonstrate how the legal responses deal with child pornography on the Internet. Chapter four deals with the non-legal responses to child pornography on the Internet and chapter five concludes the study and sets out recommendations." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Jacqui Gallinetti, Faculty of Law, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa))--University of Pretoria, 2004.