German official demands media skills teaching at school to curb child pornography

Following police raids last week against 21 suspected distributors of child pornographic contents on social networks, German governmental anti-abuse commissioner Johannes-Wilhelm Roerig on Monday demanded media skills teaching at school.

According to Roerig, many of the suspects aged between 14 and 26 would possibly have not been aware of the fact that they committed a crime by sharing the illegal videos.

Roerig said in Berlin on Monday that children and young people who spread recorded abuse via social networks would not be sufficiently aware that behind the photos or videos were cases of real abuse.

Recent cases would show that “minors lack the ability to reflect” and would make it clear that the “responsible use of digital media is obviously only inadequately communicated,” Roerig said.

Sabine Vogt, head of the department for serious and organized crime at the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), explained that “the simple sharing of child pornographic images and films on social networks alone exponentially multiplies the amount of material circulating on the Internet.”

Vogt said adolescents must be made aware through their legal guardians “in particular”, but also through preventive work which “they are subject to criminal prosecution with these acts.”

“The transmission of such images and films is not a trivial offence. The police are consistent in their pursuit of such cases,” Vogt added.