Child pornography in Malaysia is rising in prevalence causing many alarm bells to blare.
According to data collected by the police, it has been revealed that 106,764 IP addresses connected to child pornography were recorded from 2017 until August this year.
Child pornography is simply defined as pornography that unlawfully exploits children for sexual stimulation. It may be produced with the direct involvement or sexual assault of a child or it may be simulated child pornography.
While most of us are familiar with the term, it seems that a minister in parliament might have gotten her definitions mixed-up.
In a speech by Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun, said,
“My ministry views this trend as an unhealthy development, especially as it involves a vulnerable group since exposure to child pornography leads to sex addiction, which can eventually lead to other sexual issues,” as reported by The Star.
This speech is in light of a campaign against online sexual crimes involving children that took place on Sunday (September 4).
Part of the campaign initiative is to help and guide children, parents and the community to deal with the current challenges posed by cybercrime.
The campaign has several main objectives:
- to increase children’s understanding of using social media wisely and safely
- to highlight the dangers of unmonitored social media usage and
- to raise awareness among parents and the public regarding the use of social media among children.
Rina also stated that from January to June, the police received 47 cases of gang rape, unnatural sex (95 cases), incest (127 cases), obscenity (438 cases) and 641 cases of rape.
As a closing statement, she connected the rising child pornography with the decline of parental control over children’s internet browsing.
She said, “So parents, let’s not be too complacent and neglectful, take the initiative and be more aware of what our children are surfing,” per the Star.
Pray tell, how does the victim, in this case the child, become the perpetrator that parents must “be more aware of” when the actual culprits involved in the distribution and production of child pornography are actually the adults.
While her full speech is not available at the moment, the quotes seem to suggest that Rina believes child pornography is simply children watching porn.
As a result, many netizens have grown even more confused by the campaign that seems to be targeting the wrong individuals.
Here are a few of their reactions…
It feels almost impossible for someone to launch an entire campaign without knowing what they’re dealing with so perhaps it could be a rare and unfortunate case of horrible mistranslation.
Until further clarification is released, this is a horrible misstep by Rina Harun and her team because addressing child pornography and combating it has little to do with policing children’s internet usage but more so tracking down these perpetrators and bringing them to justice.
Organisations such as Thorn, co-founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, has been actively fighting child pornography by making tools and resources available to law enforcement, companies and organizations.
Of course, while creating awareness and educating children on the adverse effects of sexual grooming, cybersex trafficking and exploitation is important, the focal point should be to bring down the hammer on the perpetrators while minimising the amount of trauma for children as much as possible.