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What are Child Sexual Abuse Images?

Child Sexual Abuse Images are video, pictorial or textual depictions or representations of sexual exploitation of children, focusing on the sexual behaviour or sexual organs of the child. The trade in child sexual abuse images has been one of the most widespread, growing and lucrative activities on the internet in recent years. As a result, more and more activities at national, European and global level are focusing on the prevention of such criminal activities and at the same time on the identification of victims. Such activities, i.e. by identifying victims and removing or denying access to the controversial material on which the victim appears, reduce the possibilities of re-victimization of the victim while increasing the possibility of protecting the victim and arresting the perpetrator.

A child sexual abuse material is any pornographic material that:

  • visually depicts a child (a minor under the age of 18) participating in a sexually explicit act, or a person who looks like a child, and
  • realistic images of a non-existent child in a sexually explicit act.

According to international legal acts, the child sexual abuse image is a criminal offence in the following cases:

  • production,
  • distribution
  • acquisition or dissemination,
  • targeted access and
  • possession of child sexual abuse images.

The purpose of the investigation of child sexual abuse images is:

  • to identify the perpetrator of the abuse,
  • to identify and protect victims of the abuse and
  • to deny access to the material.

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