“Pedocriminals, the hunt”: Arte’s stunning documentary on the Internet, a real El Dorado for sexual predators | EUROtoday

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Pedocriminals, monitoring is a stunning, stunning, however important doc. Director Laetitia Ohnona, whose work had already been observed because of She regarded for it (2018), investigated in eight nations, over 4 years, alongside police forces, NGOs and actors preventing in opposition to little one crime.

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Essential firstly as a result of it reveals staggering figures on sexual violence in opposition to kids. According to the examine by the Australian Human Rights Institute printed in 2023, carried out on 2,000 males aged 18 to 65, one in six declares having a sexual attraction to kids, with one in ten having taken motion. Most of the latter are married, and 3 times as a lot of them work with minors. “These figures could very well be similar to us,” says the director, with a shiver in her voice.

Two photographs of kid rape uploaded per second to the Internet

Laetitia Ohnona additionally cites the examine by the NGO Weprotect international alliance carried out on younger folks aged 18 to twenty in 54 nations: one in three younger folks say they’ve been contacted as soon as on-line throughout their childhood. “You should also know that every second, two images of child rape are uploaded to the Internet around the world. » Figures that send shivers down your spine. “The figures cross-referenced and sourced are stubborn,” Laetitia Ohnona likes to repeat. It's a reality, not an thought: the Internet shouldn’t be this place lower off from actuality the place nothing can occur to our kids. On the opposite. »

Jérôme Bonet, former director of the PJ, interviewed within the documentary asks: “What parent is going to leave their child alone in a square with fifteen adults without any supervision, no one. Yet that’s what we do on the Internet. »

In January 2020, the director met Véronique Béchu, head of the Strategy department of the Juvenile Office of the Judicial Police (OFMIN) in a conference. “His presentation of the real-time download map of child abuse images stunned me: a forest of red dots appeared on the map, revealing the scale of the situation. It seemed urgent to me to make a film about it. »

Launched before Covid, its investigation took a new turn during the epidemic, as the phenomenon accelerated. “Social networks and online games have become a privileged hunting ground. In the midst of Covid, the great availability of children in front of their screens has made it easier for sexual predators who take advantage of the psychological suffering of children and adolescents,” explains the director. “All our consumption patterns have changed, and this has taken hold,” she provides.

In the occasion of sextortion, inform your kids: “It’s not serious! »

Sextortion, online blackmail of which young men are mainly the victims, is today in the hands of West African networks. “From a few dozen reports in France in 2020, we rose to 8,000 in 2023, and 1,300 this last month,” recollects the director. She wished to pay tribute to very younger victims: Danny, a Canadian teenager, who dedicated suicide three hours after the beginning of a chat. Quentin, a younger Rennais who stabbed himself for concern that his bare photographs can be broadcast, whereas his blackmailer was nonetheless on the display screen, displaying no emotion.

Jérôme Bonet, the previous director of the PJ, nonetheless recollects within the movie: “Above all, do not pay, do not respond. It is a powerful self-destructive process, while the risk is low or non-existent. The message that parents must send to their children is: it's not serious ! »

The film is reminiscent of other dramas playing out behind the screens. THE groomingor child trapping, this large net cast by predators, on video games or social networks, with several contacts per day if the children are addicted to the screen, is not insignificant.

“Children and parents don’t realize how quickly a digital exchange can become real. This is a danger that should not be overestimated,” says Thomas Hauburger, public prosecutor of Giessen, Germany, the place younger Aileen, 14, died in 2022.

In the Philippines, saving kids victims of on-line violence

Since 2010, the OFMIN in France, but additionally the HSI (Homeland Security Investigation) within the United States, have been actively preventing in opposition to reside streaming, a brand new weapon for little one criminals. After being curbed in Romania, the acquisition of reside or recorded classes of photographs of prepubescent kids is happening primarily within the Philippines. “This is a major challenge for the country,” explains the director, “where one in a hundred children are victims of online sexual violence. Violence mainly takes place within families. »

Laetitia Ohnona met undercover investigators, victim protection associations and victims themselves, who recount this terrible law of supply and demand. Like Cassie, a young Filipina entrusted by her parents to a relative who promised a better future, but who condemned her to suffer daily rape in front of the camera. “I did inexplicable things in front of the camera, I saw the faces of men from other countries who looked at my little girl’s body,” she says. It lasted 5 years. There have been six kids on this home, the youngest was one 12 months outdated. »

The function of tech giants

If the tech giants have already put in place, on a voluntary foundation, account blocking or reporting programs, entry to little one pornography photographs continues to be very simple. “Not to mention the darknet where there are millions of photos and even guides to raping children, criminals can easily get in touch and post photos on a social network like X, or innocuous forums on commercial sites” , explains the director.

And to recall the struggle of European Commissioner Ylva Johansson, who desires to undertake laws requiring on-line service suppliers to take measures to detect, report and take away little one pornography photographs. But the controversy rages with fervent protectors of particular person freedom.

At the U.S. Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), between 80,000 and 100,000 reviews are available in daily. Nearly 32 million reviews have been made in 2022, and 88 million recognized photographs in circulation. As the director reminds us, “behind each report, there is at least one potential victim”. Still figures, which ought to alert the general public authorities.

“Pedocriminals, the hunt”, Tuesday May 21 at 8:55 p.m. on Arte and on arte.television