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Commissioner praises breaking of child porn ring

Media Release For immediate release Thursday 6 March 2008

Children's Commissioner praises work on breaking child porn ring

Department of Internal Affairs censorship inspectors have made an invaluable contribution in uncovering an international child porn ring, Children's Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro said today.

"Their work has enabled authorities to identify and rescue more than 40 children being exploited by this insidious form of child abuse," Dr Kiro said.

"It is important that we do all we can to stop the use of sexualised images of children and child sexual abuse and that we address these issues. The Internet has given paedophiles easy access to a frightening array of images and filmed footage of children and of course, real children are involved in the creation of these images.

"Internal Affairs' censorship compliance unit sparked this investigation that spanned Australia, England, America, Canada and Germany. While no New Zealanders were involved in the core group, DIA's work accessed an Internet group distributing large amounts of child sex abuse images that would have inevitably made their way here.

"We need to recognise that victims of child sexual abuse are at increased risk of becoming either further victims or perpetrators of sexual violence as adults. The children being used by these child porn rings need to be identified and helped.

"Parents and caregivers need to know there are signs, although they may be difficult to detect, that a child is being sexually abused. These generally relate to significant changes in the child's behaviour.

"We should also be aware that child sexual abuse is a problem that crosses all ethnic and socio-economic groups and that individual perpetrators, who have trusted and unsupervised access to children, can be offending against many children."

ENDS

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