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Swiss government cracks down on child pornography

The Swiss government is proposing to crack down on child pornography, saying it will present parliament with stiffer legislation by the end of the year.

This content was published on September 8, 1999 - 13:27

The Swiss government is proposing to crack down on child pornography, saying it will present parliament with stiffer legislation by the end of the year.

The government said Wednesday it was asking parliament to approve amendments which would extend the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of children under the age of 16.
Under existing laws, the statute of limitation in such a case expires ten years after the act was committed. The government now wants to start running the clock from the moment when the child comes of age, which in Switzerland is at age 18.

The government is following the advice of experts, who say that many victims are often not able to speak about their experiences until years after the crime was committed.

The government further proposes that current legislation be amended to declare the private consumption of hardcore pornography a crime.

Hardcore pornography is defined as sexual acts with or abuse of children, sex with animals, or any sexual presentation combined with acts of violence.

Experts note that the consumption of hardcore material in Switzerland is on the increase and that consumption – even it happens in private homes only – helps feed the production of pornographic pictures, videos and Internet presentations.

All existing and amended legislation would also apply to the online world, federal officials said.

Current legislation already bans the production, purchase, storage, selling and advertising of pornographic events, texts, audio and video material.

The Swiss authorities say that there were 319 convictions in child sex abuse cases in 1997, the last year for which official figures are available.

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