A bill to protect minors from pornography and treat this phenomenon as a matter of public health is prepared by Senator Milla Romero in Colombia and was announced at the international forum “Sexual violence and pornography”, organized in the Congress of the Republic by the parliamentarian of the Democratic Center and by the Political Network for Values (PNfV).
The event, held on March 19, was also attended by Senator María del Rosario Guerra, vice president of the PNfV, former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, and international experts such as Gail Dines, a sociologist and emeritus professor of women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston, Donald Hilton, neurologist and associate professor at the University of Texas School of Medicine, Haley McNamara, President of the International Center on Sexual Exploitation and Gudrun Kugler, Member of the Austrian Parliament, among others.
“Our proposal does not violate freedom of expression, on the contrary, it strengthens it, and protects women and children. The exercise of freedom in social networks should not affect, under any circumstances, the rights of children and women, or promote sexual violence or child abuse” said Romero.
She said that pornography should be treated as a public health issue, against which the government would have the obligation to create public policies. In Russia, for example, the government has urged social media platforms to delete content that encourages child pornography, drug consumption and suicide. Other successful initiatives have been implemented in the UK and Austria.
Uribe Vélez stressed the need for child pornography to have more severe penalties and Senator Guerra warned that recent studies conducted in Colombia show rapid growth in the pornographic industry and increasingly early access to such content.
A study carried out by the Eafit University and the telecommunications company Tigo-Une in 2019, revealed that 35% of minors in Colombia had seen pornographic content on the internet at least once.
In addition, 50% of the children and young people surveyed accessed this content through social networks, of which 18% indicated that they entered through messages, or through messaging services such as WhatsApp.
See the video of the forum: