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Police cooperation Online child pornography in Switzerland on the increase

Policeman sifting through suspicious websites

Online pornography is difficult to investigate and needs cooperation between police forces in Switzerland and in other countries.

(Keystone)

The non-governmental group against child abuse has expressed concern about a continuing increase of suspected cases of child pornography in Switzerland.

“It has taken on alarming dimensions. We are increasingly concerned about the growing number of suspicion reports from the United States,” Xenia Schlegel of the Swiss Foundation of the Protection of Childrenexternal link is quoted by the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.

Schegel urges parliament to introduce tougher laws against child pornography, child prostitution and human trafficking.

She says internet providers should be obliged to report suspected cases of child pornography to the federal police authorities, similar to a system in the US. 

FBI assistance

Switzerland’s Federal Police Office (Fedpol) has confirmed that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provided about 9,000 reports of alleged child pornography to the Swiss authorities last year.

The figure compares with about 480 suspected cases in 2014, according to the NZZ am Sonntag.

The suspects in Switzerland are believed to have downloaded banned content from US internet providers.

Fedpol handed over about 10% of the suspicion reports to the cantonal justice authorities following a preliminary examination, the Swiss news agency, Keystone SDA-ATS said.

The FBI is using filters which are not very accurate, according to a Fedpol spokeswoman.

In 2017 and 2016 it was about 150 cases submitted to prosecutors in the 26 Swiss cantons.

Despite the high number of suspected cases, the number of convictions of online pornography is modest, according to the newspaper report. Swiss courts handed down 580 verdicts in 2017.

swissinfo.ch/urs

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