Sunday, January 7, 2007

Social - Combating Internet Child Pornography

We have all seen the commercial on television which has children of various nationalities talking about internet child pornography. The last scene features a Caucasian girl and she says "We don't need your money, we just need your support." This commercial is an awareness campaign "Light a Million Candles" by a group of Singapore volunteers to encourage public action to combat child pornography on the Internet. This campaign is in support of the recently launched Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography (Coalition), which is being spearheaded by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

The rise of the Internet has made the world a smaller place and it has made transactions more opaque, with online credit card payments. This has created instant access to child pornography, which is a billion dollar commercial enterprise. At the same time, the victims are getting younger and the images are progressively more graphic and more violent.

From the ICMEC website:

To eliminate commercial child pornography, we must stop the flow of money. To do that, we need the involvement of the world’s leaders in the financial and Internet industries, as well as governments, law-enforcement agencies, and the public at large.

The Light a Million Candles campaign is comprised of a 60-second public-service announcement, print advertisements, a viral email, and a web site. We ask that you please visit, and offer your support by lighting a virtual candle and challenging the world’s governments, law-enforcement agencies, financial institutions, Internet Service Providers, and payment associations to work together to tackle this problem. The goal is to collect one million pledges by the end of 2006.

We encourage you to visit the web site, view the public-service announcement, light a candle, and raise awareness of the global epidemic of child pornography."

I have lighted my candle and hope that you can light yours too.

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