Stop Calling Kids “Child Prostitutes”
Posted: 09/23/20
“This picture was taken around the time of my 17th birthday. What it does not tell you is that from the ages of 10 to 17, I was sexually exploited throughout the western United States, charged with solicitation and prostitution, and jailed as if I was a criminal.

I was not a child prostitute or child sex worker. I was a victim and survivor of child rape. And so are the other kids out there now who are being bought and sold for sex. They are victims and survivors of child rape.”

​​​​​​-Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew

Here, across the U.S., we have child sex slave markets that are not unlike what exists in Cambodia, the Philippines, and India. Girls are sold to the very same types of men, and they are tortured in almost identical ways if they attempt to leave. Yet these girls, the girls from Southeast D.C. or South Central L.A., are seen as the “ho,” the “bad girl”–the “child prostitute.”

When the media reports on this issue of child sex trafficking in the U.S., the victims are often described as “child prostitutes,” “child sex workers” or even “teen hookers.” According to research by the Human Rights Project for Girls and The Raben Group, there have been more than 5,000 instances in the past five years when reporters for print, wire, and online outlets have used the phrase “child prostitute” or other variations on the phrase.

The term “child prostitutes” is dangerous and harmful because it conveys that trafficked and exploited children have choice and agency, and that they are criminals. But, in truth, these kids have been denied choice and agency. They have been coerced or manipulated into selling their bodies, and they have been subject to what is commercial serial rape, as minors. The term “child prostitute” makes the abuse trafficked children have suffered somehow different from other forms of rape or sexual abuse of minors, when in reality that is not the case.

But, It is not just about language. It is abut the law too, and how abused and trafficked girls are wrongly criminalized.

Over 1,000 children every year are arrested for prostitution. Many of them are even of legal age to consent to sex, let alone commercial sex. Moreover, Congress made clear in The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, that children are not “prostitutes.” Federal law clearly states that any individual under the age of 18 who is induced to perform a commercial sex act in exchange for anything of value is, by definition, a victim of sex trafficking–not a prostitute.

At the state and local levels, however, trafficked children are not contemplated as victims. Instead the girls, many of them between the ages of 12 and 14, are arrested, detained, and prosecuted.

We must, in language and law, eradicate the notion of a “child prostitute.”

That is why the Human Rights Project for Girls has started the No Such Thing campaign–that there is no such thing as a “child prostitute.” There are only victims and survivors of child rape. And they deserve all the legal protections, supports, and services afforded to other child victims of abuse.

On this day, the 153rd anniversary of the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation, let’s acknowledge that unfortunately the bodies of certain children and youth–who are disproportionately poor, black and brown–continue to be rendered property. On this anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, let’s take an easy step towards giving dignity and justice to our kids who are being bought and sold, and insist that they are acknowledged and named as victims and survivors of child rape–and not criminalized. Because how we are named is how we are treated.

Please answer Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew’s call to action and sign our petition asking the Associate Press, to stop using the term “child prostitute”–there is, simply put, no such thing.



Slavery isn’t over.
Every minute a child is taken against their will. In less than a minute, you can help. I’M not for sale im a child and youth. NO MORE SLAVERY

More than 30 million people live in slavery today. Men, women, and children around the world are trafficked and subjected to exploitation. The modern-day slave trade is a $32 billion-dollar-a-year business and one of the fastest growing industries.




Child Pornography is a criminal offense and is defined as any visual depiction involving the use of a minor, or one appearing to be a minor, engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Effects of Child Pornography.


Effects on the Children Portrayed

The vast majority of children who appear in child pornography have not been abducted or physically forced to participate. [32] In most cases they know the producer—it may even be their father—and are manipulated into taking part by more subtle means. Nevertheless, to be the subject of child pornography can have devastating physical, social, and psychological effects on children.

The children portrayed in child pornography are first victimized when their abuse is perpetrated and recorded. They are further victimized each time that record is accessed. In one study,[34] 100 victims of child pornography were interviewed about the effects of their exploitation—at the time it occurred and in later years. Referring to when the abuse was taking place, victims described the physical pain (e.g., around the genitals), accompanying somatic symptoms (such as headaches, loss of appetite, and sleeplessness), and feelings of psychological distress (emotional isolation, anxiety, and fear). However, most also felt a pressure to cooperate with the offender and not to disclose the offense, both out of loyalty to the offender and a sense of shame about their own behavior. Only five cases were ultimately reported to authorities. In later years, the victims reported that initial feelings of shame and anxiety did not fade but intensified to feelings of deep despair, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Their experience had provided them with a distorted model of sexuality, and many had particular difficulties in establishing and maintaining healthy emotional and sexual relationships.

Effects on Users

The effects of pornography on users have been extensively researched but results are contentious. There are at least five possible relationships between pornography use and the sexual abuse of children:

Pornography use is an expression of existing sexual interests. An individual who sexually abuses children seeks out child pornography as part of his/her pattern of sexual gratification.[35] The offender’s sexual interests cause his/her pornography use rather than the other way around.
Pornography is used to prime the individual to offend. An individual deliberately views child pornography immediately prior to offending. Pornography is used in the short term to sexually stimulate the offender in preparation for offending.[36]
Pornography has a corrosive effect. An individual becomes increasingly interested in child pornography, is attracted to images of increasing severity, and becomes desensitized to the harm victims experience. Use of pornography in the long term may also increase the risk that the person will sexually abuse a child.[37]
Pornography has a cathartic effect. Viewing child pornography is the sole outlet for an individual’s sexual attraction to children. Pornography use may substitute for, or even help the individual resist, engaging in hands-on offending.[38]
Pornography is a by-product of pedophilia. Pornography is created in the process of carrying out sexual abuse or is used to groom potential victims and prepare them for abuse.[39] Pornography is incidental to the abuse suffered by the victim.
In all likelihood, the effects of child pornography vary among users, and all of the above relationships may apply depending upon the individual in question.

The Internet and Other Forms of Child Sexual Abuse

In addition to child pornography, the Internet facilitates child sexual abuse in the following ways:

It allows networking among child abuse perpetrators. The Internet facilitates a subculture of pedophiles, who may share information and tactics and support each other’s belief systems.[40]
It may be used to seek out and groom victims. Perpetrators may enter children’s or teens’ chat rooms under an assumed identity to access and establish relationships with potential victims.[41]
It may be used in cyber-stalking. Children may be sexually harassed via the Internet.[42]
It may be used to promote child sexual tourism. Information is made available to help individuals locate child-sex tourism operators or to make direct contact with child prostitutes.[43]
It may be used in trafficking children. Mail-order children are available over the Internet.[44]
Sources of Digital Evidence

Computers and their associated services retain a considerable amount of evidence of their use. Determined, computer-savvy offenders may take precautions to cover their tracks, but many offenders will have neither the foresight nor the necessary expertise to do so, and will leave a trail of incriminating evidence.[45]

The offender’s computer: Downloaded images saved to a computer’s hard drive are the most obvious evidence of pornography use. However, there are also more subtle records that technicians can locate when examining a suspect’s computer. For example, log files show who was logged into the computer and when; modem logs record when a computer was connected to the Internet; Web browser history entries show an offender’s online activity; and e-mail and chat logs reveal online communication with cohorts or potential victims. Note, however, that seizure of a suspect’s computer requires specialized expertise, and, if handled incorrectly, may result in the loss of critical evidence.[46]
Hand-held devices: An increasing number of devices contain components of a computer (referred to as embedded computer systems) and can be used in child pornography. These devices include digital cameras, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and mobile phones. For example, digital cameras can be used to record abuse; the files can then be easily uploaded to the Internet. Similarly, in addition to voice conversations between perpetrators, mobile phones increasingly permit the recording, storing, and transmitting of digital images. These devices may have incriminating digital records stored on their memory cards.
Servers: Different servers may provide information with which to track pornography use. ISP authentication servers record customer account details against IP addresses (authentication logs), which can then be used to identify users. FTP and web servers used to upload and download electronic files have logs that record users’ IP addresses, what files were accessed, and when. Similarly, e-mail servers retain logs of customer use. Local area network servers may be used to store collections of pornography for personal use. Individuals may use local servers connected to their work computers so that searching a suspect’s work server may reveal hidden collections of pornography.
Online activity: Purpose-built or commercially available digger engine software allows law enforcement personnel to monitor online activity and identify the IP addresses of chat room contributors.[47] Although online operations can yield conclusive digital evidence of an offender’s involvement in Internet child pornography activities, officers should be careful not to become overzealous and engage in entrapment.[48]
Challenges in Controlling Internet Child Pornography

Internet child pornography presents some unique challenges for law enforcement agencies. These challenges include:

The structure of the Internet: The structure of the Internet makes control of child pornography very difficult. The Internet is a decentralized system with no single controlling agency or storage facility. Because it is a network of networks, even if one pathway is blocked, many alternative pathways can be taken to reach the same destination. Similarly, if one website or newsgroup is closed down, there are many others that can instantaneously take its place. The decentralized nature of the Internet, and resultant difficulties in restricting the distribution of child pornography, is exemplified by P2P networks involving direct connections among computers without the need for a central server.[49] It has been argued that the Internet is the ultimate democratic entity and is essentially ungovernable.
The uncertainties of jurisdiction: The Internet is an international communication tool that crosses jurisdictional boundaries. Not only is cooperation among law enforcement agencies necessary to track offenders across jurisdictions, it is required to coordinate resources and avoid duplication of effort.[50] Parallel operations run from different jurisdictions may unknowingly target the same organization or offender. Equally problematic is the issue of who is responsible for investigating child pornography on the Internet when there is no clue as to where the images originate. There is a potential for pornography crimes to go uninvestigated because they do not fall within a particular law enforcement jurisdiction.
The lack of regulation: The Internet, by its nature, is difficult to regulate, but many jurisdictions are reluctant to introduce laws that might help control Internet use. There are debates about the appropriate weight to give to the community’s protection on the one hand, and to freedom of speech and commercial interests on the other.[51] There is also legal ambiguity about whether ISPs should be liable for the material they carry (as are television stations) or merely regarded as the conduits for that material (similar to the mail service).[52] The end result is that ISPs’ legal obligations with respect to Internet child pornography are often unclear, and, for the most part, the emphasis has been on self-regulation.[53]
The differences in legislation: To the extent that there have been attempts to regulate the Internet, control efforts are hampered by cross-jurisdictional differences in laws and levels of permissiveness regarding child pornography. For example, in the United States a child is defined as someone under 18; in Australia the age is 16.[54]Moreover, countries vary in their commitment to enforce laws and act against offenders, either for cultural reasons or because of corruption.[55]
The expertise of offenders: As the typology of Internet offending behavior suggests, offenders vary in the degree to which they employ elaborate security measures to avoid detection.[56] There is a core of veteran offenders, some of whom have been active in pedophile newsgroups for more than 20 years, who possess high levels of technological expertise. Pedophile bulletin boards often contain technical advice from old hands to newcomers. It has been argued that many Internet sting operations succeed only in catching inexperienced, low-level offenders.
The sophistication and adaptation of Internet technology: The expertise of offenders is enhanced by the rapid advances in Internet technology. In addition to P2P networks, recent developments include remailers (servers that strip the sender’s identity from e-mail) and file encryption (a method of hiding or scrambling data).[57]A technological race has developed between Internet pornographers and law enforcement agencies.[58]
The volume of Internet activity: The sheer amount of traffic in child pornography makes the task of tracking down every person who visits a child pornography site impossible.[59] Many offenders realize that realistically their chances of being caught are quite remote. Similarly, while perhaps worthwhile activities, catching peripheral offenders or disrupting individual networks may have little overall impact on the scale of the problem.

Responses to the Problem of Internet Child Pornography

Your analysis of your local problem should give you a better understanding of the factors contributing to it. Once you have analyzed your local problem and established a baseline for measuring effectiveness, you should consider possible responses to address the problem.

The following response strategies provide a foundation of ideas for addressing your particular problem. These strategies are drawn from a variety of research studies and police reports. Several of these strategies may apply to your community’s problem. It is critical that you tailor responses to local circumstances, and that you can justify each response based on reliable analysis. In most cases, an effective strategy will involve implementing several different responses. Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem. Do not limit yourself to considering what police can do: carefully consider whether others in your community share responsibility for the problem and can help police respond to it.

General Considerations for an Effective Response Strategy

As noted, Internet child pornography presents some unique challenges for law enforcement agencies. However, despite the difficulties involved in controlling the problem, local police have an important role to play. To maximize their contribution, local police departments need to:

Acquire technical knowledge and expertise in Internet pornography. If your department does not have a specialized Internet crime unit, then find out where you can obtain assistance or training. Appendix B lists online resources that can provide information on national and international initiatives, tips and leads, technical assistance, and staff training.
Establish links with other agencies and jurisdictions. It is important that local police departments share information and coordinate their activities with other jurisdictions. Appendix B also lists agencies that have specific programs or sections designed to provide a coordinated response to Internet child pornography.
Establish links with ISPs. ISPs can be crucial partners for police. As has been noted, there is often a lack of specific legislation setting out ISPs’ obligations. This makes it especially important for police to establish good working relations with ISPs to elicit their cooperation in the fight against Internet child pornography.
Prioritize their efforts. Because of the volume of Internet child pornography crime, police forces need to prioritize their efforts and concentrate on the most serious offenders, particularly those actually involved in abusing children and producing pornographic images.[60]For example, one strategy may be to cross reference lists of Internet child pornography users with sex offender registries to increase the chance of targeting hands-on offenders (see Appendix B). It has been noted that success in combating child pornography is too often judged in terms of the number of images recovered, rather than by the more significant criterion of whether the crimes the images portray have been prevented.[61]
Specific Responses to Reduce Internet Child Pornography

It is generally acknowledged that it is impossible to totally eliminate child pornography from the Internet. However, it is possible to reduce the volume of child pornography on the Internet, to make it more difficult or risky to access, and to identify and arrest the more serious perpetrators. Since 1996, ISPs have removed some 20,000 pornographic images of children from the web.[62] Around 1,000 people are arrested annually in the United States for Internet child pornography offenses.[63] The following strategies have been used or suggested to reduce the problem of child pornography on the Internet.

Computer Industry Self Regulation

ISPs have a central role to play in combating Internet child pornography. The more responsibility ISPs take in tackling the availability of child pornography images on the Internet, the more resources police can devote to addressing the production side of the problem. However, there are two competing commercial forces acting on ISPs with respect to self regulation. On the one hand, if an ISP restricts access to child pornography on its server, it may lose out financially to other ISPs who do not. Therefore, it will always be possible for offenders to find ISPs who will store or provide access to child pornography sites. On the other hand, ISPs also have their commercial reputation to protect, and it is often in their best interests to cooperate with law enforcement agencies. Most major ISPs have shown a commitment to tackling the problem of child pornography. By establishing working relationships with ISPs, and publicizing those ISPs who take self regulation seriously, police may be able to encourage greater levels of self regulation. Current self-regulatory strategies include:

A number of ISP associations have drafted formal codes of practice that explicitly bind members to not knowingly accept illegal content on their sites, and to removing such sites when they become aware of their existence. Service agreement contracts with clients will often set out expected standards that apply to site content. Large ISPs may have active cyber patrols that search for illegal sites.[64]
Establishing complaint sites/hotlines. Some ISP associations have set up Internet sites or hotlines that allow users to report illegal practices.[65] These associations either deal directly with the complaint (e.g., by contacting the webmaster, the relevant ISP, or the police) or refer the complainant to the appropriate authorities.
ISPs can apply filters to the browsers and search engines their customers use to locate websites. There are numerous filtering methods. For example, filters can effectively treat certain key words as if they do not exist, so that using these words in a search will be fruitless.[66] Software that can identify pornographic images is also being developed.[67]
Legislative Regulation

Not everyone is satisfied with the current reliance on self regulation, and there have been calls for increased legislation to compel the computer industry to play a greater role in controlling Internet child pornography. Police may be an important force in lobbying for tighter restrictions. Among the proposals for tighter regulation are:

Making ISPs legally responsible for site content. ISPs’ legal responsibilities to report child pornography vary among jurisdictions. In the United States, ISPs are legally required to report known illegal activity on their sites, but they are not required to actively search for such sites.[68] It has been argued that ISPs’ legal responsibilities should be strengthened to require a more proactive role in blocking illegal sites.[69]
Police may apply for a court order to seize ISP accounts.[70] However, to assist in the prosecution of offenders, ISPs need to maintain good records of IP logging, caller ID, web hostings, and so forth.[71]
Requiring user verification. ISPs often exercise little control over verifying the identities of people who open Internet accounts. Accounts may be opened using false names and addresses, making it difficult to trace individuals who engage in illegal Internet activity. In addition, without verifying users’ ages, there is no way of knowing if children are operating Internet accounts without adult supervision. This problem of Internet anonymity is likely to increase as the potential to access the Internet via mobile phones becomes more common. It has been argued that both ISPs and mobile phone networks need to strengthen procedures for user verification.[72]
Remailers are servers that forward emails after stripping them of sender identification. It has been argued that much tighter regulation of remailers is necessary. Some have advocated making remailer administrators legally responsible for knowingly forwarding illegal material, while others have called for a complete ban on remailers.[73]
Encryption of pornographic images is shaping to be the biggest technological problem facing law enforcement agencies. Key escrowed encryption would require anyone selling encryption software to supply a trusted third party with a key to the code.[74] This has been strongly resisted by the computer industry. In the meantime, work continues on developing code-breaking software.
Strategies for Related Industries

There are a number of other promising strategies involving other industries with a stake in the Internet. Again, although police may have no direct role in implementing these strategies, they may be able to use their influence to encourage industries to act. Strategies include:

Although there has been considerable focus on the role of ISPs in enabling the distribution of Internet child pornography, there has been less attention given to the role played by credit card companies in allowing customers to pay for that pornography. It has been argued that credit card companies have a duty to not knowingly contribute to illegal acts.[75] Some credit card companies have acknowledged the problem and vowed to act.[76]
Economic pressure may be applied to service providers to encourage them to monitor illegal content. In one example of this, major brands have withdrawn advertising from P2P networks that carry child pornography.[77]
Workplace Responses

Many medium to large organizations maintain their own servers, which allow employees to access the Internet from and store data on their work computer. Work computers have been implicated in a number of child pornography cases.[78] Workplace strategies may be directed toward altering the behavior of potential offenders by reinforcing the costs associated with offending.

Adopting and enforcing workplace codes of conduct. Many organizations have explicit policies regarding and consequences for the improper use of work computers. These policies need to be made clear to employees to remove any doubt about what standard of behavior is expected.
The traffic through most work-based servers is less than that for commercial ISPs, making it more feasible for the system administrator to electronically monitor staff Internet use.
By employing web filters, companies can place restrictions on the sites that employees can visit.[79]
Citizens’ Groups

A number of nonprofit organizations have been established to raise public awareness about the issue of Internet child pornography and to act as political lobby groups. These groups include Wired Safety, Safeguarding Our Children – United Mothers (SOC-UM), and End Child Prostitution, ChildPornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT).[80] Citizens’ groups will usually work in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, and local police can provide active support for their activities, which include:

The main activity of these groups is to raise public awareness and provide tips for parents and teachers through their websites, publications, and online classes.
Searching the Internet. Many of these groups have their own teams of volunteers who search the Internet, or hotlines where people can report Internet child pornography. Information gathered about child pornography is then passed on to law enforcement agencies. Volunteers should be careful not to inadvertently download child pornography and thus commit a crime.
Parental Strategies

One of the concerns about Internet child pornography is that children may inadvertently access material, or may have material sent to them either as part of a grooming process or by cyber-stalkers. A number of products are available to assist parents in regulating Internet content for their children.[81]Police can play an educative role in informing parents of these effective strategies by:

Encouraging parents to use filtering software. Commercially available software allows parents to restrict or monitor their children’s Internet usage and may be available as part of free parental controls by certain ISPs. These programs may block undesirable sites or provide a record of Internet sites visited.
The Recreational Software Advisory Council on the Internet (RSACi) rates websites in much the same way movies are rated. This is a voluntary system that allows website operators to obtain a rating, which they can then code into their site. Ratings may be used as a filter on web browsers to help parents control their children’s Internet use.
Those in charge of a website (the webmaster) may provide key words (meta-tags) that broadly identify their site to assist in the search process. However, a webmaster may include inappropriate key words in the meta-tag to increase visits to their site. For example, a child pornography site may be located under the key word ‘Disney’. A number of child-oriented search engines (e.g., Yahooligans!) manually inspect sites for inappropriate material.
Law Enforcement Responses

In the strategies discussed so far the police role has largely involved working in cooperation with other groups or acting as educators. A number of strategies are the primary responsibility of police. As a rule, local police will not carry out major operations. Most major operations require specialized expertise and inter-agency and inter-jurisdictional cooperation. (See Appendix C for a summary of major coordinated law enforcement operations in recent years.) However, local police will almost certainly encounter cases of Internet child pornography in the course of their daily policing activities. Law enforcement responses include:

Locating child pornography sites. Police agencies may scan the Internet to locate and remove illegal child pornography sites. Many areas of the Internet are not accessible via the usual commercial search engines, and investigators need to be skilled at conducting sophisticated searches of the ‘hidden net.’ Police may issue warnings to ISPs that are carrying illegal content.
Law enforcement agents may enter pedophile newsgroups, chat rooms, or P2P networks posing as pedophiles and request emailed child pornography images from others in the group.[82]Alternatively, they may enter child or teen groups posing as children and engage predatory pedophiles lurking in the group who may send pornography or suggest a meeting. A variation of the sting operation is to place ads on the Internet offering child pornography for sale and wait for replies.[83]Recently, Microsoft announced the development of the Child Exploitation Tracking System to help link information such as credit card purchases, Internet chat room messages, and conviction histories.[84]
These sites purport to contain child pornography but in fact are designed to capture the IP or credit card details of visitors trying to download images. These can be considered a type of sting operation and have resulted in numerous arrests. However, their primary purpose is to create uncertainty in the minds of those seeking child pornography on the Internet, and, therefore, reduce the sense of freedom and anonymity they feel (see Operation Pin in Appendix C).
Publicizing crackdowns. Many police departments have learned to use the media to good effect to publicize crackdowns on Internet child pornography.[85] Coverage of crackdowns in the mass media increases the perception among potential offenders that the Internet is an unsafe environment in which to access child pornography.
Although most media attention is often given to technological aspects of controlling Internet child pornography, in fact many arrests in this area arise from traditional investigative police work. Investigations may involve information from:

The public: The public may contact police directly, or information may be received on one of the various child pornography hotlines.
Computer repairers/technicians: Some states mandate computer personnel to report illegal images.[86] There are cases where computer repairers have found child pornography images on an offender’s hard drive and notified police.[87] Police may establish relationships with local computer repairers/ technicians to encourage reporting.
Victims: A point of vulnerability for producers of child pornography is the child who appears in the pornographic image. If the child informs others of his/her victimization, then the offender’s activities may be exposed.[88]
Known traders: The arrest of one offender can lead to the arrest of other offenders with whom he has had dealings, producing a cascading effect. In some cases the arrested offender’s computer and Internet logs may provide evidence of associates. (See Operation Cathedral in Appendix C.)
Unrelated investigations: There is increasing evidence that many sex offenders are criminally versatile and may commit a variety of other offenses.[89] Police may find evidence of Internet child pornography while investigating unrelated crimes such as drug offenses.
Responses with Limited Effectiveness

There are a few citizens’ groups (e.g., Ethical Hackers Against Pedophilia) that engage in direct vigilantism by hacking into and disabling suspected offenders’ computers, posting anti-pedophile messages on pedophile bulletin boards, and swamping pedophile newsgroups with the aim of closing them down.[90] These activities are often illegal and are not endorsed by most citizens’ groups or by law enforcement agencies.

Responses to the Problem of Internet Child Pornography

The Internet is a global network comprising millions of smaller networks and individual computers connected by cable, telephone lines, or satellite links. The Internet permits individuals to connect with other computers around the world from the privacy of their own homes. Although the terms Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) are often used interchangeably, the web specifically refers to the worldwide collection of electronic documents and other files stored throughout the Internet (on web pages and in websites). The web accounts for 90 percent of Internet usage.[91]The web allows individuals to search for and download text, graphics, audio, and video on topics of interest from around the world. They can also upload their own electronic files for others to access. In addition to the World Wide Web, the Internet enables a number of other services and forms of communication, including e-mail, mailing lists, e-groups, newsgroups, bulletin boards, chat rooms, instant messaging, and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. These services permit a user to engage in conversations with other individuals and share electronic files. Specific terms associated with the Internet, the World Wide Web, and related communication services are in the following table:

The Internet
Term Definition [92]
Host Any computer or network connected to the Internet.
Modem Device for connecting a host to the Internet. Includes dial-up modems that may use standard telephone lines and dedicated cable modems.
Internet Protocol (IP) address A number that uniquely identifies each host using the Internet.
Server A computer configured to provide a service to other computers in a network, including access to hardware and software and centralized data storage. Different servers may be used to perform specific functions (e.g., web server or email server).
Internet Service Provider (ISP) A business that provides individuals or companies access to the Internet (e.g., AOL, MSM, Earthlink). ISPs use authentication servers to verify customers’ passwords.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) A protocol that permits the downloading and uploading of electronic files. Downloading is the process by which a computer receives an electronic file from the Internet via an FTP server; uploading is the process of transferring electronic files from a computer to an FTP server on the Internet.
The World Wide Web
Term Definition [93]
Web page An electronic document that may comprise text, graphics, audio, and video, as well as links to other pages.
Website A collection of related web pages and associated media stored on a web server.
Home page First page displayed on a website that usually acts as an introduction to the site.
Web cam Video camera that permits live images to be displayed via a web page.
Universal Resource Locater (URL) A web page’s unique location or address.
Web browser Software that allows web pages to be accessed and viewed (e.g., Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla-Firefox).
Hyperlink A link provided within a web page to connect other related web pages. Pop-up links not requested by the user may also appear on some web pages.
Search engine A program (e.g., Google, Alta Vista) that locates websites and web pages using key words.
Communication Services
Term Definition [94]
E-mail A method of communication between individuals connected to the Internet involving the transmission of text messages and attached files.
Mailing lists A group of e-mail addresses given a common name so all members on the list receive the same message. There is a central list owner who controls who is on the list and what material can be sent. Individuals may subscribe to have their name and address added to the mailing list.
E-groups Groups established to share information on a topic of common interest. Potential members need to subscribe to the group. In addition to email, an e-group may offer other features such as a chat room, a bulletin board, and a central home page.
Newsgroups A site, stored on a news server, that allows contributors to have discussions about a particular subject by posting text, pictures, etc., and responding to previous posts. In most cases no one owns a newsgroup and there is no central authority. However, in some cases a password may be required, and some newsgroups filter posts through a moderator. The network of newsgroups is called Usenet.
Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) Bulletin board systems, which predate the Internet, are similar to newsgroups, but tend to be in real time to allow contributors to engage in conversations. Bulletin boards are often hosted by an owner rather than a server, and may be accessed directly via a modem without going through the Internet.
Chat rooms A chat room is a location on a server that permits multiple users to engage in real-time conversations and exchange electronic files. Many chat rooms are open to anyone to log into, but some are closed. They may employ a moderator, but users can nominate a pseudonym.
Instant messaging (IM) Similar to chat rooms, but instant messaging permits private conversations with nominated contacts. Once a connection is established, direct contact between users is possible without the need for a central server.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) A network in which each computer is an equal partner and all work cooperatively together. All computers in the network have a common file-sharing program (e.g., KaZaA, Morpheus, Limewire), allowing users to connect directly to each other’s hard drive to search for and exchange files.

Appendix B: Agencies and Programs Addressing Internet Child Pornography

A variety of law enforcement agencies have a stake in preventing and investigating Internet child pornography. Some of these agencies have specific programs or sections to focus resources and coordinate ongoing responses. In the United States, key agencies and services include: [95]

Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS): A section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, CEOS specializes in the investigation and prosecution of child exploitation and obscenity cases, including child pornography. It provides training for federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement agents concerning these crimes. www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/childporn.html
CyberSmuggling Center: Formed by the U.S. Customs Service, the center focuses particularly on undercover operations into international production and distribution of child pornography. http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/home.xml
Cyber Tipline: An online clearinghouse for tips and leads on Internet child exploitation. The program is jointly sponsored by the NCMEC, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Customs Service, and the FBI. www.cybertipline.com
Innocent Images: The central operation and case management system coordinating FBI investigations into child exploitation via the Internet. www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/cac/innocent.htm
Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC): A task force program initiated by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), U.S. Department of Justice. It provides regional clusters of forensic and investigative expertise to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in dealing with Internet child exploitation. http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org/programs/index.html
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC): A private, nonprofit organization whose mission includes following up on tips from the Cyber Tipline and providing technical assistance and training to other agencies. www.missingkids.com
National Sex Offender Public Registry: A web site supported by the U.S. Department of Justice that provides details on the location of offenders convicted of sexually violent offenses. www.nsopr.gov
U.S. Postal Inspection Service: This service has particular responsibilities to investigate the distribution of child pornography via mail. Internet activity is often supported through traditional mail. www.usps.com/postalinspectors
A number of major law enforcement operations demonstrate the need for interagency and international cooperation. A summary of major operations is shown in the table below.

Appendix C: Examples of Coordinated Law Enforcement Operations

Operation Avalanche/Ore [96]
The Problem The Response The Outcome
Landslide Productions was a child pornography company operating out of Fort Worth, Texas. Landslide had a complex network of some 5,700 websites worldwide (especially in Russia and Indonesia) that stored child pornography images. The operation in Fort Worth acted as a gateway into the network. Online customers provided credit card details to obtain network access. Landslide scrambled these credit card numbers to protect customers’ identities. There were more than 390,000 subscribers from 60 countries, generating a monthly turnover of up to $1.4 million. The investigation began in 1999 when the U.S. Postal Inspection Service discovered that Landslide’s customers were sending monthly subscription fees to a post office box or paying them through the Internet. A joint investigation between the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), comprising more than 45 officers, was conducted over two years (Operation Avalanche). Officers cracked the code that scrambled the credit card numbers and then tracked down the card owners. Landslide’s bank accounts were seized and 160 search warrants were executed that recovered large quantities of child pornography. The investigation was expanded to include the U.K. police (Operation Ore). To date, 120 arrests have been made in the U.S., including the two principal operators who were given life and 14year sentences respectively in 2001. In the U.K. some 7,000 customers were identified, 1,300 people arrested, and 40 children taken into protective custody. Despite closing down Landslide Productions, there has been criticism that relatively few offenders have been successfully prosecuted.
Operation Cathedral [97]
The Problem The Response The Outcome
The Wonderland Club was an exclusive online pedophile ring in which members reportedly had to produce 10,000 child pornography images for membership. At least 180 individuals from at least 33 countries had met this criterion, and seven members between them had contributed 750,000 images. In 1996, two U.S. offenders charged with online child pornography offenses (the Orchid Club) cooperated with police and provided information about a British offender. Evidence from that offender’s computer hard drive led to the discovery of the Wonderland Club. The operation, conducted between 1998 and 2001, involved U.S. and British police coordinating through Interpol. Although agents were unable to gain undercover entry into the club, they were able to monitor transactions and gather evidence from the outside. Eventually, 35 members were identified. Police forces in 12 countries carried out more than 100 simultaneous raids on suspects. The Wonderland Club was destroyed, and there were 107 arrests around the world, 14 of which were in the United States.
Operation Candyman [98]
The Problem The Response The Outcome
Candyman, was an open e-group maintained by Yahoo that was involved in exchanging child pornography. It had 7,000 members, 4,600 of which were in the United States and the remaining 2,400 lived around the world. Undercover FBI agents identified and infiltrated the e-group in a year-long undercover operation ending in 2002. The task force comprised 56 FBI field officers. A court order was obtained to compel Yahoo to provide the unique e-mail addresses of all members, and subpoenas were issued to all ISPs to provide the addresses of U.S. users. The FBI was able to obtain 1,400 addresses, from which 707 suspects were identified, 266 searches carried out, and 89 arrests made to date. Those arrested include a school bus driver, a teacher’s aide, law enforcement personnel, and clergy members.
Operation Pin [99]
The Problem The Response The Outcome
The operation is directed at the general proliferation of child pornography websites and the number of people accessing these sites. In particular it is aimed at casual or first-time offenders. The operation was started in 2003 by West Midlands (U.K.) police and expanded to include the FBI, the Australian Federal Police, the Royal Canadian Mounties, and Interpol. Far from being a covert operation, it was officially launched with media releases by the relevant police forces. It is a classic honey trap operation. A website purporting to contain child pornography was set up. Visitors to the site were required to go through a series of web pages, which appeared to be identical to real web porn sites, searching for the image they wanted. At each point it was reinforced that they were in a child pornography site, and they were given the option to exit. When they did try to access an image they were told they had committed a crime. They were tracked down via their credit card details, which they were required to provide to login. This crime prevention operation has resulted in numerous arrests; however, precise numbers are not available. Its main purpose is to make searchers of child pornography on the Internet uncertain that they can do so anonymously. Details of the sting operation were widely publicized on child pornography sites, contributing to the deterrent effect.

Summary of Responses to Internet Child Pornography

The table below summarizes the responses to false burglar alarms, the mechanism by which they are intended to work, the conditions under which they ought to work best, and some factors you should consider before implementing a particular response. It is critical that you tailor responses to local circumstances, and that you can justify each response based on reliable analysis. In most cases, an effective strategy will involve implementing several different responses. Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem.

The table below summarizes the responses to Internet child pornography, the mechanisms by which they are intended to work, the conditions under which they ought to work best, and some factors you should consider before implementing a particular response. It is critical that you tailor your responses to local circumstances, and that you can justify each response based on reliable analysis. In most cases, an effective strategy will involve implementing several different responses. Law enforcement responses alone are seldom effective in reducing or solving the problem.

Computer Industry Self Regulation
1. Removing illegal sites Reduces availability of pornography; ISPs agree voluntarily to refuse to accept child pornography sites and to remove any sites once identified …all ISPs agree to participate There is a financial advantage for some ISPs to continue to accept child pornography sites. Pressure may be applied to ISPs by police to increase compliance; some international ISPs are beyond the reach of formal codes of conduct
2. Establishing complaint sites/hotlines Facilitates reporting; public is given the opportunity to report illegal sites …existence of the complaint sites/ hotlines are widely known Although many reported sites will have already been identified by the ISP, sites that have escaped the cyber patrols may be uncovered
3. Filtering browsers/ search engines Prevents customers from accessing child pornography sites …all providers agree to use filters Not all illegal sites will be identified; applies only to child pornography located on open areas of the web
# Response How It Works Works Best If… Considerations
Legislative Regulation
4. Making ISPs legally responsible for site content Enhances screening and surveillance of child pornography; ISPs to be legally required to identify and remove illegal sites …there is national and international consistency in legislative approach Resisted by computer industry, which favors self-regulation; debate about the balance between protecting society and free speech
5. Requiring the preservation of ISP records Facilitates criminal investigations; records of customers’ Internet use are retained in case required as evidence Same as No. 4 above Same as No. 4 above
6. Requiring user verification Deters offenders from seeking child pornography on the World Wide Web; ISPs should require verification of an applicant’s identity before providing an account Same as No. 4 above Same as No. 4 above; this problem will become more critical as greater integration of Internet and mobile phone services occurs
7. Regulating anonymous remailers Reduces anonymity of offenders; re-mailer administrators are made legally responsible for material forwarded Same as No. 4 above Same as No. 4 above
8. Using key escrowed encryption Reduces anonymity of offenders; encryption keys held by a trusted third party Same as No. 4 above Same as No. 4 above
# Response How It Works Works Best If… Considerations
Strategies for Related Industries
9. Blocking credit card transactions Deters offenders and/or reduces profitability of online child pornography; credit card companies refuse to authorize payments for child pornography …all companies agree to participate Not all child pornography requires payment
10. Boycotting sites by advertisers Reduces profitability of online child pornography; companies refuse to place advertisements on networks that carry child pornography …the boycott is widespread and highly publicized The aim of boycotts is to pressure service providers to monitor illegal activity
Workplace Responses
11. Adopting and enforcing workplace codes of conduct Deters offenders by removing excuses for using workplace computers to access child pornography; organizations that maintain their own servers have explicit policies governing computer use by staff …codes are formal and clearly communicated to all staff Applies only to child pornography accessed or stored at work
12. Auditing computer use Deters offenders by increasing surveillance of their computer use; staff Internet use is routinely monitored …staff are aware in advance that audits will be conducted Same as No. 11 above
13. Filtering web usage Reduces access to online child pornography; companies restrict the sites that employees may visit Same as No. 11 above Same as No. 11 above
# Response How It Works Works Best If… Considerations
Citizens’ Groups
14. Educating the public Enhances awareness and improves web surveillance; information is provided to parents and teachers about Internet child pornography …it is done in cooperation with law enforcement agencies Directed mainly toward preventing online exploitation of children and access by children to child pornography
15. Searching the Internet Enhances web surveillance; hotlines and Internet searches by volunteers identify child pornography sites Same as No. 14 above Volunteers need to be careful not to download pornography and thus commit a crime
# Response How It Works Works Best If… Considerations
Parental Strategies
16. Encouraging parents to use filtering software Reduces exposure of children to online child pornography; software installed on home computers that restricts sites that may be visited and/or keeps a record of sites visited …combined with supervision of children’s computer use and education about appropriate sites Specifically targets children’s access to child pornography; police have a role in educating the public about safe Internet use
17. Encouraging parents to review web ratings Reduces exposure of children to online child pornography; websites independently rated for age suitability Same as No. 16 above Same as No. 16 above
18. Promoting the use of child-oriented search engines Reduces exposure of children to online child pornography; search engines specifically designed for children, where sites are manually inspected for inappropriate material Same as No. 16 above Same as No. 16 above
# Response How It Works Works Best If… Considerations
Law Enforcement Responses
19. Locating child pornography sites Increases an offender’s risk of apprehension; law enforcement agencies conduct their own searches of the Internet for child pornography …coordinated with other agencies and jurisdictions Requires specialized expertise to access hidden areas of the Internet
20. Conducting undercover sting operations Deters offenders through increased risk of apprehension; undercover law enforcement agents enter pedophile newsgroups, etc., to collect evidence against offenders Same as No. 19 above Same as No. 19 above; may target novice or low-level offenders
21. Setting up honey trap sites Increases an offender’s risk of apprehension; phony child pornography sites are established that capture the details of offenders who attempt to access the supposed pornography …the existence of the sites is widely publicized to increase the deterrent effect Same as No. 20 above
22. Publicizing crackdowns Increases the perception among offenders that the Internet is an unsafe environment to access child pornography …publicity is widespread and sustained Same as No. 20 above
23. Conducting traditional criminal investigations Increases an offender’s risk of apprehension; police uncover information about child pornography in the course of their daily work …police have strong links with key community groups Key role for local police
# Response How It Works Works Best If… Considerations
Responses With Limited Effectiveness
24. Engaging in vigilantism Increases an offender’s risk of apprehension; vigilantes disable suspected offenders’ computers and disrupt pedophile newsgroups

Understanding Your Local Problem

The information provided above is only a generalized description of Internet child pornography. You must combine the basic facts with a more specific understanding of your local problem. Analyzing the local problem carefully will help you design a more effective response strategy.

Asking the Right Questions

The following are some critical questions you should ask in analyzing your particular problem of Internet child pornography, even if the answers are not always readily available. Your answers to these and other questions will help you choose the most appropriate set of responses later on.


How many complaints relating to Internet child pornography have been investigated in your jurisdiction? What were the sources of the complaints?
What component or components of the problem are occurring locally—production, distribution and/or downloading?
Is the local problem part of a national or international Internet child pornography ring?
What level of severity are the pornographic images?
Are the pornographic images of recent child sexual abuse, or are they old images?
If the pornographic images are recent, can you identify the locations in which they were made, and are they local?

Do victims of child sexual abuse report participating or being depicted in child pornography?
Do victims of child sexual abuse report being shown child pornography by the offender?
If the pornographic images are recent, can you identify the victims and are they local?
Have any local children been the subjects of child pornography? If so, what physical and emotional harms did they suffer?
If local children have been the subjects of child pornography, how were they recruited or coerced into this activity?

Do suspects arrested on child sexual abuse charges possess collections of downloaded pornography?
Do suspects arrested on child sexual abuse charges keep photographic records of their abusive behaviors?
Do suspects arrested for possessing child pornography also commit hands-on offenses against children?
How strong are offenders’ interests in Internet child pornography (e.g., are they recreational, at-risk, or sexual compulsive users)?
What level of severity of pornographic images do the offenders prefer?
How large are the offenders’ collections of child pornography?
How much time do the offenders devote to Internet child pornography?
What level of computer expertise do the offenders have?
Do the offenders network with other offenders?
What offender-type are the offenders—browsers, private fantasies, trawlers, non-secure collectors, secure collectors, groomers, physical abusers, producers, or distributors?
If the pornographic images are recent, can the perpetrators be identified, and are they local?
Computer Personnel

What links does the police department have with local computer personnel (repairers, ISP managers, IT technicians, etc.)?
Do local ISPs monitor their customers’ child pornography use?
Do local businesses and organizations have formal policies governing their employees’ use of the computer at work?
Have local computer repairers or IT technicians reported evidence of child pornography on their customers’ computers?
Community Members

How concerned is the public about Internet child pornography?
Has the police department received complaints from the public about child pornography websites?
Has the police department received complaints from the public about online sexual harassment of children?
Has the police department received complaints from the public about unauthorized photographs being taken of children in public areas?
Resources and Collaborations

Which component or components of the problem should be given priority by the police department—production, distribution, and/or downloading?
Who within the police department has computer expertise that may be useful in assisting with investigations?
Who in the community may provide technical advice to the police department on Internet child pornography?
What training is relevant for officers investigating Internet child pornography?
Should the police department establish a dedicated Internet child pornography unit?
Does the police department have links with other police departments and agencies that permit coordinated investigations of Internet child pornography?
How do the activities of the police department synchronize with national and international priorities and initiatives?
Measuring Your Effectiveness

Measurement allows you to determine to what degree your efforts have succeeded, and suggests how you might modify your responses if they are not producing the intended results. You should take measures of your problem before you implement responses, to determine how serious the problem is, and after you implement them, to determine whether they have been effective. (For more detailed guidance on measuring effectiveness, see the companion guide to this series, Assessing Responses to Problems: An Introductory Guide for Police Problem-Solvers.)

The following are potentially useful measures of the effectiveness of responses to Internet child pornography:

Reduced number of complaints from the public about Internet child pornography. Initially, you might want to see an increase in complaints from the public if you have reason to believe the problem is underreported.
Reduced number of child pornography sites and images on the Internet.
Reduced number of new child pornography images on the Internet.
Reduced level of severity of the child pornography images on the Internet.
Reduced number of images possessed by offenders who are arrested for downloading child pornography.
Reduced level of severity of the images possessed by offenders who are arrested for downloading child pornography.
Reduced level of involvement (possession, distribution, or production) of the offenders arrested for Internet child pornography crime.
Other measures are important for tracking official actions taken to address the problem. Among them are:

The number of offenders arrested for Internet child pornography crimes.
The number of victims portrayed in Internet child pornography who are identified and assisted.


Although it was used prior, the term “selfie” quickly became part of the mainstream lexicon in 2013 when its use became so common that it was named the “Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year.” For the uninitiated, a selfie is a self-portrait photograph that’s often taken with a camera phone, webcam, or digital camera. The explosion of social media networks and the rise of the camera phone have created endless opportunities for anyone to share their self-portraits with the world.

This emerging technology is a natural fit for most teens and, generally, the worst offense they might commit is sharing too frequently. There is, however, also a potential for criminal liability under child pornography laws when selfies involve underage nudity or sexual situations.

Definition of Child Pornography

Since technology moves much faster than legislation, crimes committed via social media are often prosecuted by applying existing statutes. Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor, and the United States Department of Justice may prosecute offenses occurring across state or international borders and almost any offense involving the Internet.

Federal charges need not be exclusive, however, and an individual may face criminal liability under both U.S. and state child pornography laws, which are largely similar to and sometimes more comprehensive than the federal statutes. Many states further define elements of the crime, such as what constitutes sexually explicit conduct or who is considered a minor. For example:

Massachusetts extends its child pornography laws to include participating, with lascivious intent, in the depiction of a nude minor in any visual material.
In South Carolina, the judge or jury may infer that the participants in alleged child pornography are minors based on the material’s title or text.
Utah’s definition of “sexually explicit content” includes actual or simulated “explicit representation of defecation or urination functions.”
Application of Child Pornography Laws to Selfies

If an adult takes a sexually explicit picture of a minor and shares it via social media or text message, that adult will likely have run afoul of some child pornography laws. But what about a minor who takes selfies and sends them discreetly to another teen? What if the receiver then forwards the photos to others? Have they violated any laws? In many states, the answer is yes.

Though their laws were created to protect minors from exploitation caused by others, states are prosecuting minors under child pornography statutes for sending nude or otherwise lurid self-portraits, even when the minors sent the selfies without coercion. The common quirk in the laws is that there is no exception for taking or distributing sexually explicit pictures of oneself. Thus, a high school student sending a racy seflie to a boyfriend or girlfriend could subject both themselves and the receiver to prosecution for child pornography. If the picture makes its way around other social circles through online or direct sharing, anyone who received or distributed the photo could also find themselves open to charges.

Direction of Future Laws

The overall trend on both the federal and state levels is toward broader definitions of child pornography with increased prosecutions and harsher penalties for those connected to it. One of the gray areas that’s getting greater attention in the age of social media is what constitutes “possession” of child pornography. Most social media sites can now store large caches of images indefinitely on the Internet, lessening the need for viewers to download files to their computers. Other services, such as Snapchat, can be used to distribute selfies that auto-delete themselves after a few seconds (though the receiver may create a screen capture before the image disappears).

Since merely viewing child pornography is illegal in many states, browsing a website or knowingly receiving illegal images would be criminal activity in those jurisdictions. Other states’ child pornography laws, however, have “possession” requirements that are somewhat archaic in the digital age. The shortcomings of these statutes were exemplified by a pair of high court decisions from Oregon and New York:

A 2011 decision by the Oregon Supreme Court reversed the conviction of a man charged under the state’s Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse statute since the child pornography in question was only accessed on the Internet and he never ‘possessed’ or ‘controlled’ the images, as required by the law.
Similarly, in 2012, the New York Court of Appeals held that viewing child pornography online does constitute the “knowing procurement or possession of those files” and reversed some charges against the defendant.
Both of these states and others have since taken steps to close such loopholes and expand the reach of their child pornography laws so as to include developing and future technologies, but this is an area of law that is rapidly evolving to meet the times. For teens sending or exchanging risqué pictures, their concern can no longer be limited to whether it may bring embarrassment or even parental and academic discipline. Instead, they need to also consider whether that sexually explicit selfie can get them prosecuted under child pornography laws.

Child pornography is pornography that exploits children for sexual stimulation.[1][2][3][4][5][6] It may be produced with the direct involvement or sexual assault of a child (also known as child sexual abuse images[7][8][9]) or it may be simulated child pornography. Abuse of the child occurs during the sexual acts or lascivious exhibitions of genitals or pubic areas which are recorded in the production of child pornography.[1][2][4][5][6][10][11] Child pornography may use a variety of media,[12] including writings,[7][13][14] magazines, photos,[12] sculpture,[12] drawing,[12] cartoon,[12] painting,[12] animation, sound recording,[15] film, video,[12] and video games.[16]

Laws regarding child pornography generally include sexual images involving prepubescents, pubescent or post-pubescent minors and computer-generated images that appear to involve them.[17] Most possessors of child pornography who are arrested are found to possess images of prepubescent children; possessors of pornographic images of post-pubescent minors are less likely to be prosecuted, even though those images also fall within the statutes.[17]

Producers of child pornography try to avoid prosecution by distributing their material across national borders, though this issue is increasingly being addressed with regular arrests of suspects from a number of countries occurring over the last few years.[17][18] The prepubescent pornography is viewed and collected by pedophiles for a variety of purposes, ranging from private sexual uses, trading with other pedophiles, preparing children for sexual abuse as part of the process known as “child grooming”, or enticement leading to entrapment for sexual exploitation such as production of new child pornography or child prostitution.[19][20][21] Children themselves also sometimes produce child pornography on their own initiative or by the coercion of an adult.[22]

Child pornography is illegal and censored in most jurisdictions in the world.[23][24] Ninety-four of 187 Interpol member states had laws specifically addressing child pornography as of 2008, though this does not include nations that ban all pornography.[25] Of those 94 countries, 58 criminalized possession of child pornography regardless of intent to distribute.[25] Both distribution and possession are now criminal offenses in almost all Western countries. A wide movement is working to globalize the criminalization of child pornography, including major international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Commission

Human Trafficking is a modern-day
form of slavery with over twenty-seven
million people enslaved
worldwide. The scope of the
problem is hard to define because
human trafficking is largely a hidden
crime, making accurate numbers
of trafficking incidents difficult to
determine. It is a crime under state,
federal and international law and is
currently the second fastest growing
criminal activity, exceeded only by the
illegal drug trade.
A person is a human trafficking victim
if she/he is induced by force, fraud
or coercion or if she/he is a victim
under 18 years of age. There are two
major types of human trafficking: (a)
sex trafficking, in which the victim
is forced to commit a commercial
sex act and (b) labor trafficking,
which is the recruitment, harboring,
transportation, provision or obtaining
of a person for labor or services
for the purpose of subjection to
involuntary servitude, peonage, debt
bondage or slavery. Sex trafficking
is especially reprehensible because it
specifically targets vulnerable women
and girls. Some victims are abducted;
others are runaways or are lured out
of poverty or sold
by their destitute
families. Many
are desperate for
acceptance and
enticed by the
false promise of
romance, good
jobs or a better life.
There are many
factors contributing
to the tragedy of
human trafficking,
a significant
one is pornography which
is the focus of this module.
Pornography creates a climate in
which violence and exploitation of
women and children is both tolerated
and tacitly encouraged. Taking on
pornography means challenging the
culture’s libertarian attitude about
sex, which basically says anything
goes between consenting adults, and
those who don’t like pornography
can change the channel. Lies about
pornography must be dispelled. For
example, viewing it will satisfy your
sexual desire, consumption of it is
harmless and even helpful to building
stable relationships or those involved
in its production are
there by choice.
Pornography is
prevalent and
destructive. Recent
statistics are
staggering. Enough
is Enough, (enough.
org), a nonprofit
working to make
the internet safer
for children and families, provides
the following information:
(a) Every second, 28,258 internet
users are viewing pornography; (b)
American children begin viewing
pornography at an average age
of 11; (c) About 67% of young
men and 49% of young women
believe that viewing pornography is
acceptable; (d) The pornography
industry is a $97 billion industry
worldwide, with child pornography
taking in at least $3 billion and (e)
Child pornography is one of the
fastest-growing online businesses.
Additionally, the Human Dignity,
Slavery, and Sex Trafficking Symposium
reported: (f) 89% of pornography
comes from the U.S., (g) 260 new
explicit sites are put online every
day, (h) 20% percent of all internet
searches are related in some way
to pornography and (i) 66-90 % of
women involved in the production
of pornography were sexually
abused as children. The Richmond
Justice Initiative website reported
in September 2011, that one out of
every five pornographic images is of a
child, and 55% of child pornography
comes from the U.S.
What is the link between pornography
and human trafficking? There
are two links. The Freedom
Youth Project Foundation, (www.
freedomyouthproject.org) reports
that thousands of trafficked children
and young adults are forced to make
pornographic films. The second is
that those addicted to pornography
eventually lose satisfaction with
just watching sexual encounters
and seek encounters with trafficked
persons. An estimated 40% to 80%
of consumers of child pornography
abuse and molest a child (www.
CitizenLink.com). It is a cruel cycle
with little thought given to the
Pornography drives demand for
sex trafficking because as Catherine
Mackinon, a professor at Harvard
Law School says “consuming
pornography is an experience of
bought sex” and thus it creates a
hunger to continue to purchase
and objectify, and act out what is
And in a very literal way,
pornography is advertising for
trafficking, not just in general but
also in the sense that traffickers and
pimps use pornographic images of
victims as specific advertising for
their “products.”2
In addition, viewing
pornography and gratifying oneself
with it creates a drug-like addiction,
which distorts the individual’s view
on sexuality. It also trains the mind
to expect sexual
fulfillment on
demand, and to
continually seek
more explicit or
violent content to
create the same
As Victor Malarek
put it in his book
The Johns: “The
message is clear:
if prostitution
is the main act, porn is the dress
Pornography becomes
a training ground for johns’ tricks.
When pornography is the source of
sex education for our generation,
the natural outcome is a culture of
commercial sex and sex trafficking.
Many women and children who are
being sexually exploited and trafficked
are also being used for the production
of pornography. Sometimes acts
of prostitution are filmed without
the consent of the victim and
On other occasions
victims are trafficked for the sole
purpose of pornographic production.
In today’s era of webcams and chat
rooms, the lines between interactive
pornography and virtual prostitution
websites have been blurred.6

Recruitment for and retention of
victims in the pornography industry
occurs in
many ways,
including being
bombarded with
calls to come
and perform
after posting
a personal ad,
through social
media or by
contact in
places where
women and
girls gather
such as malls, coffee shops, or
specialty shops. Sometimes the
women and girls are held captive on
pornography sets or driven under
the command of a pornographer
or agent to and from the sets. This
fits the trafficking definition of
“harboring and transporting.” Those
used in pornography are considered
a commodity, easily discarded when
no longer needed. They are used
to create a product that is supplied
to countless consumers across the
world. The pornography industry is
continually providing the world with
commercial sex acts, which can be
consumed without end.
Pornographers, like other pimps,
learn how to exploit economic and
psychological vulnerabilities to coerce
women and girl to get into and stay
in the sex industry.9
Other times they
threaten or use alcohol and drugs to
induce compliance, which is included
in some state definitions for coercion.
Understanding that pornography and
sex trafficking are interconnected
challenges us to seek justice for
victims of commercial sexual
exploitation. We must acknowledge
that pornography is a root cause
of human trafficking and fuels
the demand for more victims of
sexual exploitation. It is essential to
understand the reality of pornography
and act accordingly

When a child goes missing the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® is ready to assist families and law enforcement agencies 24 hours a day. Each case brings its own set of unique challenges, and NCMEC is prepared to help meet those challenges.

NCMNo missing child is ever forgotten, no matter how long they have been missing. Through the Biometrics Team NCMEC coordinates the collection of DNA, dental records and other unique identifiers from family members to search for potential matches, even for long-term cases. The Case Analysis Unit provides direct analytical support to law enforcement for missing and unidentified deceased child cases.

Every day NCMEC works to find missing children and reunite them with their families.

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  • Child Sexual Exploitation

    NCMEC Analyst

    Child sexual exploitation is a significant problem requiring a multifaceted response. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® works with federal, state and local law enforcement in their efforts to investigate and prosecute these cases and identify and rescue child victims.

    Through March 2014 NCMEC has:

    • Received and made available to law enforcement more than 2.3 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation through the CyberTipline®.
    • Analyzed more than 108 million images and videos depicting apparent child pornography through the Child Victim IdentificationProgram®.

    NCMEC provides:

    • Assistance to law enforcement in their efforts to locate non-compliant sex offenders in the U.S through the Sex Offender Tracking Team®.
    • Analytical services to law enforcement in their investigations of child sex trafficking through the Child Sex Trafficking Team, Is proud of the services provided to law enforcement investigating cases of child sexual exploitation, but understands there are many more child victims of sexual exploitation who have not yet been rescued and still suffer at the hands of their offenders. NCMEC will continue to work to help ensure all child victims receive the help they need and deserve.
      It is difficult to quantify just how pervasive the porn industry is in fueling and underpinning the Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Minors.  Pornography is often considered a “victim-less” sin; and yet, nothing could be further from the truth.  Pornography is highly addictive, progressively perverted, and completely objectifies human beings (primarily women and youth) as being nothing more than objects to be used for another’s pleasure.

      Porn Shapes The Attitudes and Values Of The Culture That Allows It To Thrive

      In the same way that a 30-second commercial can influence whether or not we choose one retail item over another, exposure to pornography shapes our attitudes, values (and often) our behavior. Numerous studies have demonstrated that exposure to significant amounts of increasingly graphic forms of pornography has a dramatic effect on how adult and child consumers view men, women, teens, children, sexual behavior, sexual relationships, and sex in general. When experimental subjects were exposed to as little as six weeks’ worth of non-violent pornography, they:

      • Began to trivialize rape as a criminal offense, or no longer considered it a crime at all.
      • Developed distorted perceptions about sexuality.
      • Developed an appetite for more deviant, bizarre or violent types of pornography. (Normal sex no longer seemed to satisfy.)
      • Devalued the importance of monogamy and lacked confidence in marriage as either a viable or lasting institution.
      • Viewed non-monogamous relationships as normal and natural.

      (Source: The Drug of the New Millennium, Mark B. Kastleman)

      It’s Getting More Extreme

      The pornography that is distributed on the Internet today is increasingly extreme and is most correctly identified as “hard-core.”  Some examples of this type of pornography include, but are not limited to:

      • Sadism: depicting pain as being pleasurable;
      • Body-piercing, torture and mutilation ;
      • Rape: emphasizes the “rape myth;”
      • Incest: depicting females or males reportedly initiating and enjoying sexual abuse inflicted by family members;
      • Snuff films: low-budget films in which the actor is sexually abused and then murdered on camera;
      • Orgies/group sex;
      • Necrophilia: sex with a corpse;
      • Bestiality: sex with animals;
      • Ritualistic sexual abuse;
      • Crossover videos: depicts serial progression from heterosexual acts to bisexual acts to homosexual acts, the latest fad in the pornography market

      (Adapted from Enough IS Enough, Take Action Manual, 3rd edition, Enough Is Enough, 1995 – 1996, all rights reserved, p.20)

      Porn Is Highly Addictive

      • Images viewed for only a few seconds can produce a structural change in the brain and body that may last a lifetime.
      • Through the law of strength, pornographic images gain immediate entrance into the brain and body and can be allotted enormous amounts of storage space.
      • Pornographic images are stored in the cells of the brain and body as cellular-memories. These images then become “tangible” memories, literally changing the viewer on the “inside.”
      • The brain and body immediately seek to link the stored pornographic images with other cellular-memories. These links are determined by the meaning that the pornography has to the viewer. Meaning is everything in the human brain and body.
      • Because of the powerful meaning and response pornography can evoke in the brain and body, it is often linked to a vast array of other cellular-memories. This vast network of links wields a tremendous impact on the physical and chemical makeup, attitudes and behavior of the pornography viewer.
      • Because of this dramatic change in the structure of the brain and body, severe addiction can result and the pornography addict can become a significant burden and risk to family, friends and society as a whole.

      Pornography is Like a Drug, Only “Better”

      Viewing Internet porn and/or engaging in cybersex chat, coupled with masturbation, cause the brain and body to release drugs back into its own nervous system. Based on its ability to produce self-medication, mask pain, escape reality and provide the means to achieve orgasm, Internet pornography has been placed in direct competition with illicit drugs! Internet pornography is considered preferable to traditional drugs in many ways. It can more easily be hidden from view. Achieving a high through Internet porn or cybersex won’t cause you to stagger around, slur your words or pass out. What other drug can you sample for free as long as you like? (There are enough “free” and “sampler” porn sites and thousands of cybersex chat rooms available through standard Internet services to keep an addict occupied for years.) And if the free or sample drugs aren’t strong enough, what other drug could you purchase in large enough quantities, not to mention a constantly changing variety, to satisfy your changing mood, craving or preference, all for just the cost of your Internet connection?   It’s easy to see why addicts of Internet porn eventually will outnumber cocaine, crack or meth addicts! Consider how the Internet porn/cybersex “drug” eclipses and outperforms common street drugs:

      • The drug is free or relatively cheap.
      • It can be used as often as desired.
      • Regular users of the drug don’t manifest embarrassing outward physical signs.
      • The drug, with rare exceptions (i.e. child pornography), is completely legal.
      • No prescription is required.
      • The drug producers (Internet pornographers) are shrouded in anonymity.
      • Producers are able to pump the drug right into a home or office.
      • The drug supply is endless and instantly available at the push of a button, 24 hours/day.
      • Unlike other drugs, porn leaves behind no trace of physical evidence (no smell, no residue, no paraphernalia). Any physical hint of its use vanishes when the computer is turned off.
      • The addict has access to a constantly changing variety of drugs. With thousands of choices, he/she can switch to a new, different or harder drug with the click of a mouse.

      (Excerpted from The Drug of the New Millennium, Mark B. Kastleman, p.9)

      Porn and Your Brain

      Your brain needs endorphin and encephalitis, (naturally occurring opiates produced in the brain). These opiates make you feel good.   There are manufactured substances that mimic these naturally occurring chemicals (drugs, alcohol etc.) but there are many healthy, natural ways a person can get these brain-chemicals.   When a person gets these ‘feel-good’ chemicals, they want more—these chemicals can become as addictive as alcohol or other drugs.   Sexual feelings and desires are a natural part of each person. The pathway of sexual arousal and release is one of the most powerful pathways with little need of reinforcement. Because it is so powerful, it also needs the most protection so that it can occur in the situation that is the healthiest for those involved.   When a person views pornography (sexually explicit material for the purpose of arousal) all those feel-good brain chemicals are running all over the brain. When the individual becomes aroused, and feels a need to experience sexual release (usually by masturbating or having sex.)   When pornography is combined with sexual release, as in masturbation, and the naturally occurring drugs are set free all over the brain, this is a high reward for the brain. Because it is not a chemical imitation, it’s even more addictive.

      (Source: Brain Pathways, Douglas Weiss, PhD.)

      Uncovering The Truth About Pornography

      New Study Reveals 14% of Teens Have Had Face-to-Face Meetings with People they’ve Met on the Internet.

      New research by Cox Communications in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) reveals teens are engaging in risky behavior online but that parents and guardians can have an impact on that behavior. One-third of teens surveyed say they are considering meeting face-to-face with someone they’ve met from the Internet and 14% say they’ve already had such an encounter. While many teens are sharing personal information online and putting themselves in potentially harmful situations, the survey results show that when parents and guardians talk to their teens about Internet safety, their exposure to potential threats declines and they make safer online decisions.

      Key Findings:  Teen Internet use and attitudes about safety present potential risks, but they also reveal opportunities for education and highlight a critical role for watchful parents and guardians.

      Teens have established a significant presence on social networking web sites:

      • 61% of 13- to 17-year old have a personal profile on sites such as MySpace, Friendster, or Xanga. Half have posted pictures of themselves online.
      • Older teens (16- to 17-year old) and girls represent the majority of youths who use the Internet for social interaction, meeting friends, and networking.   However, many have also been exposed to the accompanying potential risks.
      • 14% have actually met face-to-face with a person they had known only through  the Internet (9% of 13- to 15-year-olds and 22% of 16- to 17-year-olds).
      • 30% have considered meeting someone they’ve only communicated with online.
      • 71% reported receiving messages online from someone they don’t know.
      • 45% have been asked for personal information by someone they don’t know.
      • When teens receive messages online from someone they don’t know, 40% usually reply to and chat with that person.
      • Only 18% said they tell a parent or guardian that they received a message from someone they don’t know.   Many teens consider their online behavior to be safe.
      • One out of five teens reported that it is safe (i.e. “somewhat” or “very safe”) to share personal information on a public blog or networking site.
      • As well, 37% of 13- to 17-year-olds said they’re “not very concerned” or “not at all concerned” about someone using personal information they’ve posted online in ways they haven’t approved.

      Parents and guardians can impact their teen’s online experience through communication:

      • 33% of 13- to 17-year-olds reported that their parents or guardians know “very little” or “nothing” about what they do on the Internet.
      • 48% of 16- to 17-year-olds said their parents or guardians know “very little” or “nothing” about their online activities.
      • 22% of those surveyed reported their parents or guardians have never discussed Internet safety with them.
      • On the other hand, 36% of youth (girls and younger teens, most notably) said their parents or guardians have talked to them “a lot” about online safety, and 70% said their parents or guardians have discussed the subject with them during the past year.
      • Fewer teens whose parents and guardians have talked to them “a lot” about online safety have an instant messaging (IM) name or pictures of themselves on the Internet, compared to kids whose parents or guardians haven’t talked to them at all. More teens who’ve talked to parents or guardians ignore messages from unfamiliar people, refuse to reply or chat, block unknown senders, and report these occurrences to trusted adults.

      The national teen Internet survey was funded by Cox Communications in partnership with NCMEC and was conducted among 1,160 teens age 13 to 17 during March 2006.

      How to Stay Safe On The Internet

      • Never give out personal information (such as name, age, address, phone number, school, town, password, schedule) about yourself or anyone else. With your phone number, anyone can easily get your address and a map to your house.
      • Never agree to meet in person with anyone you have spoken to online.
      • Some “kids” you meet in chat rooms may not really be kids; they may be adults with bad intentions. Remember, people may not be who they say they are.
      • Never tell anyone online where you will be or what you will be doing.
      • Never respond to or send e-mail to new people you meet online. Remember it is okay to not answer every email or instant message.
      • Never send a picture over the Internet or via regular mail to anyone you’ve met on the Internet.
      • Never buy or order products online or give out any credit card information online.
      • Never respond to any belligerent or suggestive contact or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. End such an experience by logging off and telling your parents as soon as possible.
      • Always tell someone you know about anything you saw, intentionally or unintentionally, that is upsetting.
      • Use gender-neutral screen names.


      If you’re struggling with porn:

      • Avoid compromising situations.
      • Be accountable to someone. Have someone you trust hold you to your commitment. Arrange to have them ask tough questions about what’s going on in your life and what you’ve been doing. You don’t have to make an announcement and tell everyone.
      • Monitor your viewing. How much time are you spending on the computer? What behaviors are associated with your porn viewing? Drugs? Boredom? Stress? Loneliness? Certain friends? Habits you may need to break? What are you watching?
      • There are web sites and Internet accountability tools. Some of these tools have faith language on them, but in reality, any two people can help keep each other accountable. (For example: X3 watch; Net Accountability; Covenant Eyes; Bsafeonline; Cybersitter.)
      • Remember everyone is targeted. Protect yourself before it becomes an issue.

      Pornography And Your Teen – Signs of Potential Pornography Involvement

      It happens, even to the best of kids from the most [conservative] homes. Kids get caught up in porn. It happened in my day with hidden Playboy magazines, and it happens today with the Internet. But how are you to know that one of your children has slipped into a forbidden world, blacker than black, more evil than evil? Here are a few signs there may be a problem:

      • If your child spends a lot of time in chat rooms. Remember, the summer months and school vacations (such as Christmas, spring break, and so forth) are times of higher risk.
      • If you find porn on your computer. Online sexual predators use photos—especially those with sexual images of adults and children—to show kids that sex is normal behavior and to heighten their sexual curiosity. When checking for porn on you computer, don’t forget to check CDs and diskettes.
      • If your child begins receiving phone calls from adults—especially men—whom you don’t know. This is another good reason not to give your young children cell phones and private lines.
      • If you phone records show that your child is making calls, especially long-distance calls, to numbers you don’t recognize. Remember, if your child has at least been savvy or obedient enough not to give out your phone number, there’s nothing stopping the predator from giving out his: “You can’t give out your phone number? I understand. That’s safety. Good for you. How about if I give you mine? That way, we can talk, and you won’t get in trouble.”
      • If your child begins receiving anonymous gifts through the mail. A predator will spend any amount of money to get to his prey. Many have sent jewelry, CDs, DVDs and even plane tickets.
      • If, when you enter the room, your child turns off the computer monitor or x’s out the page being visited. Also, if you see your child communication in chat rooms or via IMs in a “hidden language” (POS=Parents Over Shoulder; :o x=Shhh; PA=Parent Alert). When this happens, quickly ask what it means. Better yet, learn the language.
      • If your child becomes withdrawn, preferring the cyber world to the real world. Such behavior may be an indication that your child has a problem with internet porn.

      (Excerpted from Sex, Lies and the Media: What Your Kids Know and Aren’t Telling You, Eva Marie Everson & Jessica Everson)

      Safeguading Your Children Online

      While online computer exploration opens a world of possibilities for young people, expanding their horizons and exposing them to different cultures and ways of life, they can be exposed to dangers as they explore the information highway. There are individuals who attempt to sexually exploit children through the use of online services and the Internet. The following is a list of helpful tips to protect your family:


      • Develop a trusting relationship with your child early
      • Keep the door of communication open
      • If you have reason to suspect your child is viewing inappropriate sites, do not overact – approach your son or daughter with respect
      • Add to online profiles that you monitor your child’s use of the Internet
      • Keep your computers in heavy traffic areas in your home
      • Know your children’s online friends
      • Use a pre-filtered Internet Service Provider (ISP) – check www.FilterReview.com for help
      • Check CDs, floppy and zip disks
      • Check History Files often
      • Spend time with your child as they surf the Internet
      • Ask your child to show you what IM (instant messaging) looks like
      • Spend time with your child online, and have them teach you about their favorite online destinations
      • Get to know and use the “Parental Controls” provided by your Internet Service Provider and/or blocking software
      • Always maintain access to your child’s online account, and randomly check his or her account
      • Teach your child about responsible use of the resources on the Internet
      • Find out what safeguards are used at your child’s school, the public library and at the homes of your child’s friends. These are all places, outside your supervision, where a child could encounter an on-line predator
      • Instruct your child NEVER to arrange face-to-face meetings with someone they met online and NOT to respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent or harassing
      • Tell your child to NEVER give out identifying information such as name, address, school name or telephone number to people they don’t know
      • Explain to your child to NEVER post pictures of them on the Internet and let them know this has seriously harmed other children
      • Teach your child to come and get you when they access something on the Internet that makes them feel uncomfortable, no matter what it is
      • Teach your child that the Internet is a good source for educational, recreational and creative searches, but has intentional landmines placed that could hurt them


      How to Report Violations of:

      Child Custody and Visitation

      Child Pornography

      Child Sexual Abuse

      Child Support Enforcement

      Extraterritorial Sexual Exploitation of Children

      International Parental Kidnapping


      Prostitution of Children

      Sex Offender Registration

      Child Custody and Visitation

      With the exception of international parental kidnapping, child custody and visitation matters are generally handled by local and state authorities, and not by the federal government.
      To report a child custody or visitation issue, contact your local or state law enforcement agency.
      For information on how to report an international parental kidnapping, click here.
      Child Pornography

      To report an incident involving the production, possession, distribution, or receipt of child pornography, file a report on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s website at www.cybertipline.com, or call 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
      You may also wish to report the incident to federal, state, or local law enforcement personnel.
      Child Sexual Abuse

      Child sexual abuse matters are generally handled by local and state authorities, and not by the federal government.
      To report a child sexual abuse issue, contact your local or state law enforcement agency.
      Child Support Enforcement

      Child support enforcement matters are generally handled by local and state authorities, and not by the federal government.
      To report a child support enforcement issue, contact your local or state law enforcement agency.
      You may also wish to contact your local “Title IV-D” agency, which is required by federal law to provide child support enforcement services to anyone who requests such services. To locate your local “Title IV-D” agency, visit the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement’s website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/.
      Extraterritorial Sexual Exploitation of Children

      To report an incident or suspicious situation that may involve the extraterritorial sexual exploitation of children, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-3737-888, or file a confidential online report at http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/national-human-trafficking-hotline/report-a-tip. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
      You can also report an incident or suspicious situation to Immigration and Customs Enforcement/ Homeland Security Investigations (ICE) by calling the ICE hotline at 1-866-347-2423, or emailing ICE at predator@DHS.gov.
      International Parental Kidnapping

      To report an international parental kidnapping situation, contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues. This office coordinates efforts to seek the return of children abducted by their parents to foreign countries. Call the office at (202) 312-9700, or visit their website at http://travel.state.gov/abduction/country/country_3781.html.
      You can also file a missing child report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) by calling 1-800-The-Lost (1-800-843-5678).
      You may also wish to report the incident to federal, state, or local law enforcement personnel.

      To report obscene material sent to a child, a misleading domain name or misleading words or images on the Internet, file a report on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s website at www.cybertipline.com, or by calling 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
      To report obscene or indecent material broadcast over the radio or television, contact the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), which regulates radio and television broadcasting. You can report a complaint by calling the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322), faxing 1-866-418-0232, submitting online at http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/oip/Compl.html/, or writing to the FCC at:

      To report obscene material sent through the United States Postal Inspector Service (USPIS), contact your local post office or file a complaint on the U.S Postal Services website at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/contactUs/filecomplaint.aspx.
      To report individuals engaged in fraudulent or unfair trade practices involving unsolicited emails, porn-spam, media violence, or identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and file a online consumer complain form at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
      You may also wish to report the incident to federal, state, or local law enforcement personnel.
      Prostitution of Children

      To report an incident or suspicious situation that may involve the prostitution of children, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-3737-888, or file a confidential online report at http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/national-human-trafficking-hotline/report-a-tip. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
      To report an incident involving the sexual exploitation of children, file a report on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s website at www.cybertipline.com, or call 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
      You may also wish to report the incident to federal, state, or local law enforcement personnel.
      Sex Offender Registration

      To report a non-compliant or unregistered sex offender, contact the United States Marshals Service (USMS) National Sex Offender Targeting Center (NSOTC) at Iod.nsotc@usdoj.gov.
      A non-compliant or unregistered sex offender in violation of state registration law is not necessarily in violation of the federal registration law (18 U.S.C. Sec. 2250) enforced by the USMS. You may also wish to report these persons to local and state law enforcement personnel. For a list of all state sex offender registries, click here.