• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 9:49am

Child porn law 'needs to be more stringent'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 12:00am

Punishment handed out to child-sex criminals is too lenient, according to Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups executive director Rosanna Wong Yick-ming.


The new Prevention of Child Pornography Ordinance was a 'welcome small step forward' but 'now we need more stringent law enforcement to ensure the safety of children', Dr Wong said yesterday. 'Punishment must be a deterrent to those interested in child sex.'


Dr Wong was speaking at an Asia-Pacific conference on protecting children on the internet, organised by Interpol's child-sex crime unit and police.


Microsoft, which sponsored the conference in Wan Chai and the subsequent four-day training session for 70 police from Hong Kong and 11 from other forces, said a fifth of teenage computer users had received unwanted sexual solicitation on the internet.


This ranged from the circulation of child pornography, to the online seduction of children.


Chief Superintendent Vincent Wong Fook-chuen, of the Commercial Crime Bureau, said 29 people had been arrested for possessing child pornography since the ordinance came into effect last year. There were 1,028 child abuse cases last year, down 1.5 per cent on the previous year.


'If you ask whether child abuse in Hong Kong is serious, the answer is yes and no,' he said.


'The number of child abuse cases in Hong Kong is smaller than in most countries. However, for our children, one case is too many.'


Pam Portin, Microsoft's director of children's online safety, said the firm planned to release its child exploitation tracking system software next year, allowing forces to share data on child abuse cases.


In Hong Kong, a man was jailed for four months in July for possessing child pornography but most other offenders convicted under the ordinance have received suspended sentences.


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