Portland sees rise in sextortion schemes amongst teens (USA)

As the internet and social media have evolved, so have the dangers that come with it, especially amongst youth. The level of integration of the internet with our society has given rise to cyberbullying, a form of bullying explicitly done online which uses hateful, abusive or threatening messages and media content. With the lack of regulations among tech companies and inadequate tools for parents to protect their children, the internet has also given rise to a much more dangerous threat: sextortion. Sextortion is defined as scamming victims, who are often underage, typically ranging between 14 and 17 years, to send explicit photos and content to predators. Once the scammers have acquired the photos, they typically threaten or blackmail the victim. It’s a dark but sadly real form of abuse that can be more common than people think. 

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Companies to ask for ID before giving access to pornography (USA)

The Louisiana Legislature is trying to protect children from porn and they’re asking for adults to present their ID when trying to access it. Children have much easier access to pornography than they used to have. According to Dr. Gail Dines, an anti-porn advocate, children under the age of 10 now account for 22 percent of underage online porn consumption. While 10-14-year-olds make up 36%. The average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old. The Representative pushing the bill, Laurie Schlegel, stated that the bill would make it so that the verification would only reveal if the user is over 18. Unlimited access to pornography on the internet is causing a public health crisis for our children, Schlegel affirmed. The law passed out of the committee without any opposition.

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Commission proposes tightening laws to protect child pornography victims (South Africa)

Jody Kollapen South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) chairperson proposed new laws on child pornography that will expand definitions of the crime and tighten existing regulations to protect child victims.

Kollapen’s report deals with the production of pornographic material involving children and the dissemination of that material. In a growing age of the ease of technology, one sees the impact that this could have on broader society but also on the interests and rights of children, Kollapen stated. Our Constitution carries within it the paramount principle that the best interests of the child matter — and matter significantly. It’s an important area for us to consider in the context of our society.  The SALRC also proposed that the database be linked to Interpol’s international child sexual exploitation image database.

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Child safety groups call on porn sites to voluntarily introduce age verification (Scotland)

Child safety groups urged pornography websites to introduce age verification tools as quickly as possible to better protect children from harmful content and to bring them in line with the British Board of Film Classification ratings. Video works that are given ratings of between 12, 15, 18, or R18 certificates are legally restricted, and it is against the law for anybody underage to obtain such material. They argue that many porn sites feature depictions of practices that meet the definition of criminal standards for sexual violence.

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A Sceptic’s Report: Canada’s five years experience with medical termination (Canada)

Tom Koch, an ethicist and researcher, reviewed how things have evolved in the realm of euthanasia since its legalisation in Canada in 2016. Euthanasia has indeed shown to be a “slippery slope”. The eligibility criteria for euthanasia have broadened considerably resulting in a steady increase in the number of people opting for euthanasia. Between 2016 and 2020 the number of reported cases of medical termination increased from 1018 to 7589. This is the very definition of a “slippery slope”. Eligibility criteria have loosened to such an extent that people who are simply afraid of possible future illnesses can choose to end their lives. The other finding which raises concern is that euthanasia appears to be a substitute for palliative care and other supportive services. It was shown that euthanasia is at times promoted especially to those who live in areas where expert care and support are difficult to access. It appears that those so in need are somehow not worthy of supportive care that would make their life worthwhile. The results of the Canadian 5 year review are a cause for concern rather than a recommendation for euthanasia.

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Singer cum politician overcome pornography (Nigeria)

Nigerian singer cum politician, Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, has opened up on his spiritual life and how he overcame porn addiction and promiscuity by filling a “God void” he long had. Banky W revealed that he struggled with promiscuity and pornography and he felt he was on bondage and needed cleansing. Without filling that void there is an emptiness and you feel disconnected from that source. That’s why you see some of these billionaires commit suicide”.

In the eyes of the world I was a successful artist, but I still felt empty and wretched. There were things I was struggling with on a personal basis. Everything from promiscuity to pornography just, real things that people struggled with on a personal basis.

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Government to step up efforts to prevent child sexual abuse (Philippines)

In commemoration of this year’s Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Week, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday prodded the government to increase efforts in supporting victims and preventing more cases of child sexual abuse.

The agency said in a statement that child exploitation reflects a failure to protect the most vulnerable. The marginalised sector, now more than ever, needs the government’s utmost protection in unprecedented times like this. This warning comes at the wake of a pandemic that has led to worsening socio-economic factors, which according to the CHR, also led to an increase of child abuse and sexual exploitation. This statement is reinforced by the findings of the Department of Justice which has noted a 264% increase of online sexual exploitation of children amid the pandemic.

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Parents must protect and prepare children against online pornography (Singapore)

While parents should protect their children against online risks such as online grooming, sexting and pornography, they should also prepare the youngsters for encounters with such issues, according to Associate Professor Daniel Fung, chief executive of the Institute of Mental Health.

This comes amid a surge in the number of children exposed to inappropriate sexual content with the prevalence of digital devices to view such material.

Noting that it is almost impossible to regulate pornography on the Internet, Prof Fung said parents should help children understand that such content exists and why it is not good to watch it. Instead of treating it as a taboo topic, parents can take the opportunity to discuss with them, explain what pornography is and why it is harmful, he added.

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Psychological effects of Human Trafficking (South Africa)

Juanita van Heerden, Director of Escape (a Safe House), discussed the Psychological harms of Human Trafficking on SABC TV. She described how Human Trafficked people are more likely to be malnourished, have chronic diseases, borderline personality disorders, psychosis, schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, anxiety and insomnia. The biggest challenge is to place the victims back in society. At her Safe House they teach the victims life skills including computer courses, reading and writing. Her concern is that South Africa wants to legalise Prostitution. She pleaded for resources to be made available to prostitutes to enable them to exit this life they are trapped in.

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South Dakota lawmakers pass restrictive abortion pill laws (USA)

The South Dakota Legislature passed a proposal form that aims to make the state one of the hardest places in the U.S. to get abortion pills. The bill would require women seeking an abortion to make three separate trips to a doctor in order to take abortion pills and make it clear that women in the state cannot get them through a telemedicine consultation. But women in South Dakota are still required to make two trips to an abortion clinic to get the pills. First, for an initial screening, then they must wait 72 hours before they can return to the clinic to get both drugs in the two-dose regimen. This bill would add a third mandatory visit that would require women to wait at least a day before returning to the abortion clinic to take the second drug in the regimen.

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