Submission to Canadian parliamentary Ethics Committee: Protection of Privacy and Reputation on Platforms such as Pornhub
Collective Shout welcomed the opportunity to provide a brief to assist Canada's House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in its examination of the conduct of MindGeek - Pornhub's parent company - including allegations of facilitating and distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), non-consensual sexual activity, non-consensually shared images (image-based abuse or IBA) and content created using victims of sex trafficking.Read more
We welcome the draft Online Safety Bill with its new measures dealing with cyber-bullying and cyber-abuse, and proposed industry regulation which, if successfully implemented, will make Australia a world leader in online safety legislation. We were pleased to see that many of our concerns were incorporated into this draft.
However, there are several important omissions that we would like to see addressed in this bill.Read more
Update: UN adopts General Comment on children's online rights (February 11, 2021)
The United Nations now recognises that children’s rights extend to the online realm. These rights - and the responsibilities they invoke on world governments and corporates regarding issues such as children’s online safety - are outlined in the Committee on the Rights of the Child's General Comment 25.Read more
House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violenceRead more
Late last year we made a submission to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 Inquiry. We detailed several cases where legal prostitution businesses in Australia and abroad have been found to be engaging in criminal activity including human trafficking. We also described international experience showing that legalisation of prostitution typically gives rise to human trafficking activity.
We stated our strong support of prevention and prosecution of Live Distant Child Abuse, pointing to the grave harms children suffer as the result of these crimes. We highlighted the need for financial institutions to stop facilitating pay-per-view child abuse, and called for heftier financial penalties to enforce this.
We made four recommendations addressing sexual exploitation as a predicate crime in relation to money laundering. We argued also that where sexual exploitation is legalised, criminal activity such as human trafficking, violence, and money laundering intensifies.
- That the sex industry be included in any regulatory mechanisms intended to address money laundering.
- That Live Distant Child Abuse be targeted through strengthening anti-money laundering strategies.
- That cryptocurrencies be addressed in anti-money laundering strategies.
- That international best practice in prostitution legislation could assist in combating money laundering.
Read the full submission here.
*You will note a section of our appendix at page 5 has been redacted. We are seeking to find out why.
Collective Shout welcomes the opportunity to contribute to Online Safety legislative reform. We support intentions to consolidate and harmonise current laws and to ensure streamlining and consistency in a range of digital offences. We are especially pleased to see plans for an expansion of protection against cyberbullying, cyber abuse, image-based abuse and seriously harmful content. As the digital landscape is in a constant state of flux, new opportunities arise – and with them new dangers. This necessitates updated legislation to ensure a safer online environment prioritising human rights and community welfare.Read more
Recommendation 1: In light of data verifying the real-life harms of childhood exposure to pornography the Commonwealth government should recognise the potential benefits of an Age Verification system along with other measures to limit porn exposure to children, including education programs and improved ISP filters.
Recommendation 2: An age verification scheme for access to online pornography, drawing from work done to develop the original United Kingdom model and with added measures that address perceived shortcomings in that model, for example, additions that extend application to social media platforms, should be implemented by the Commonwealth Government.
Recommendation 3: Introduce an age verification system that will restrict children’s access to online pornography (and the global porn industry’s unfettered access to children), acknowledging that our obligation to protect children, and the ensuing protections afforded to children by such a system far outweigh the concerns of those with vested interests in the global porn industry.
Recommendation 4: Introduce an Age Verification system that will restrict children’s access to online pornography (and the global porn industry’s unfettered access to children) and so uphold Australia’s international obligations to protect children from abuse, exploitation and developmental harm, acknowledging that exposure to online pornography amounts to abuse, exploitation and harm.
Click here to read the full submission.
We've been heard!
The House of Reps Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has released its report - 'Protecting the age of innocence' - following its Inquiry into Age Verification for online porn. We welcome the Committee's recommendation of a 'roadmap for the implementation of a regime of mandatory Age Verification for online pornographic material'.
Read the full report - which references Collective Shout's and Movement Director Melinda Tankard Reist's submissions and evidence - here.