Police urged to toughen child porn law
Officers reluctant to tackle paedophiles
- Published: 21/03/2013 at 01:23 AM
- Online news:
Police are considering toughening Thai law against child pornography, which many observers agree is too weak.
The move was unveiled on Tuesday at a meeting between Thai and international police in Bangkok.
Thai police are seen as lacking in enthusiasm to tackle this type of crime.
"Perhaps they have other crimes to deal with," Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, of the Child Safety and Sexual Crime Group in Australia, said.
In Australia, sex-related crimes against children are regarded as severe and police get tough on people who use the internet as a channel to send and receive child porn, he said.
"I wonder why Thailand has no specific law to cope with this crime.
Without such a law, police lack teeth to arrest wrongdoers," Det Insp Rouse told the opening of a three-day workshop on the issue among officers of the International Criminal Police Organisation, known as Interpol.
The workshop ends Thursday.
Many participants, including non-governmental organisations, agreed police need a stronger law to better protect children against paedophiles.
Pol Gen Chatchawan Suksomchit, adviser to the Royal Thai Police, said police have acted only against people who distribute pornographic photos, and invoked the 2007 Computer-Related Crime Act to curb their dissemination on the internet.
The possession of such porn is not illegal, he said.
However, he said officers are drafting a law concerning behaviour that can lead to crimes, and are considering adding the possession of child pornography to the law.
Police must consider what the intentions behind the behaviour are.
For example, the word "possession" should not refer to ordinary porn but should clearly mean pornography of children aged under 18, and photos kept not for personal sexual pleasure but to victimise children.
"It is just such an act that will be considered as wrongdoing," said Pol Gen Chatchawan, also director of the centre for children and women protection and anti-human trafficking under the Royal Thai Police.
The possession of child porn is viewed as a threat because many paedophiles use the pictures as a tool to lure children into imitating what they see in the photos. With this method, the number of new victims continues to rise, said Schle Woodthanan, deputy chairman of the Anti-Sexual Abuse in Children Foundation.
He supports the proposal to brand the possession of child porn as illegal.
Det Insp Rouse is willing to help Thai police by showing them how to track down wrongdoers in the cyber world.
The suspects will usually find victims through Facebook or online games by pretending they are the same age as children, he said. Young internet users should be wary of posting their personal data and photos on the internet.
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- Writer: Wassayos Ngamkham