The Film and Publication Board (FPB) has read with interest the article published in the Mail & Guardian regarding “Child Porn (The heart of darkness)” as publicised on 25 April 2018. We strongly condemn the purported sexual abuse of children and welcome the report that the perpetrator has been charged and arrested.

“According to the global report “Hidden in Plain Sight details” violence against children continues to affect every country, culture and community across the world with devastating impact. The effect of sexually explicit material is an issue which cannot be separated from moral values and beliefs; there is no place for child pornography in our society, says Mr. Sandile Nene, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the FPB.

He continues to say, “We encourage parents, educators and caregivers to have an open discussion with children about the subject of child abuse and child pornography so that children can openly and freely speak out when they are abused or feel that they are at risk.  Children are our future and they deserve special protection from all us. Existence of such content (images/videos) may affect the child and parents psychologically.  Victims of sexual assault are more likely to develop subsequent psychological disturbances especially children”.

The FPB employs two Child Protection Officers whose function is to inspect and analyse content reported or referred to the FPB on suspicion of Child Pornography as defined in Section 1 e (i), (ii) and (iii) of the Films and Publications Act. Such content is usually referred by law enforcement agencies, and members of the public.  The officers are trained on Safety and Risk Assessment in the field of Child Protection services and are Certified Content Analyst.

FPB’s will continue to monitor social media sites to check whether child pornography content (images/videos) have been shared so that they work with internet service providers to make sure that such content does not find the space in the online platforms. Such content is deemed illegal and a request can be made for the images/ video to be removed once law enforcement agencies have been notified.

“Through the FPB’s national roll out of cyber safety and child protection initiatives; the public is informed on how they can interact safely online and that child pornography and its’ distribution online is a real challenge faced by society.  The FPB has also observed the rise in the number of child pornographic content shared through peer to peer instant messaging platforms and   have also taken note that the general public is not fully aware of dangers lurking on the cyber space. We are intensifying our outreach and awareness campaigns to educate learners, parents and educators on how to be vigilant as sex predators are not strangers but can be individuals known and trusted by our children and communities alike, says Ms Nthabiseng May, Acting Chief Operations Officer of the FPB.

She continues to say, “We urge members of the public to contact the FPB whenever they come across inappropriate content on the online space so that we can ensure that such content images/videos are removed from any social media platforms immediately. The FPB’s Child Protection Unit also provides the necessary counselling and referrals for the victims affected to minimize the psychological impacts.

You can report child pornography on the following platforms:

www.fobhotline.org.za

0800 148 148 / 012 003 1400 – Child Protection Unit

ENDS

For more information and media enquiries contact:

Miss Manala Botolo

Acting Manager Communications and Public Education

Email: manala.botolo@fpb.org.za

Mobile:  082 860 6748

Tel:   012 003 1400

Notes to the Editor:

The Films and Publications Act, Act No.65 of 1996 as amended; prohibits the creation, possession and distribution of child pornography in any form.  The Act, defines “child pornography” to include any image of any person under the age of 18 depicted as engaging in sexual conduct, participating or assisting any person participating in sexual conduct or showing or describing any body part of such a person in a sexual manner or can be used in such a way that it can amount to sexual exploitation or used for the purposes thereof.  This means that anyone who may be found in possession of and/or distributing child sexual abuse material (images/video) or distributed can be charged with contravening Films and Publication Act. The minimum sentence; if found guilty of the creation; possession and/or distribution of child pornography is 5 years.

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