Pornhub and Others May be Shut Down in Germany if Children Not Protected, German Court Rules

NCOSE Press Statement logo

WASHINGTON, DC (September 9, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) commended Germany for moving to protect children from pornographic content by forcing pornography websites like Pornhub, YouPorn, and Mydirtyhobby to ensure that children cannot gain access, or risk being blocked. The Münster Higher Administrative Court issued a ruling supporting this child protection measure.

The era of porn sites’ impunity for harming children is beginning to end internationally. Germany is right to force pornography websites like Pornhub to put stringent safeguards in place to prevent children from accessing pornography,” said Haley McNamara, vice president of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and director of the UK-based International Centre on Sexual Exploitation.

“Pornhub and other tube sites clearly don’t care about protecting kids since have refused to comply with German’s youth protection laws for years. This ruling confirms that pornography websites whose headquarters are within Europe but outside of Germany must comply with youth protection laws in Germany.

“Given the increasing reports that Pornhub has hosted child sexual abuse material, sex trafficking, filmed rape, and non-consensual videos and images, this ruling couldn’t come at a better time. 

“The court’s ruling makes clear that if pornography website refuse to comply with commonsense embedding safeguards, German internet providers can shut them down and refuse access.  France and the United Kingdom are rightly considering similar measures to protect children from pornography. In the United States, 16 states have declared pornography a public health hazard.

Neurological, psychological, and social research increasingly confirms that pornography has harms to users, particularly children who are at increased risk for compulsive or addictive use, in addition to increased risks of harmful sexual behavior and decreased relationship satisfaction later in life with repeat pornography use,” said McNamara.

The German court ruling comes at a time when Pornhub and other tube sites are facing increasing lawsuits by sexual abuse survivors, decisions to cut ties by mainstream corporations like Visa, Mastercard, and Instagram, and news reports of criminal activity.

NCOSE is co-counsel on a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of two survivors of childhood sex trafficking whose videos and images of their abuse were posted on Pornhub and other MindGeek-owned sites. In February 2022, the judge ruled against MindGeek’s motion to dismiss, enabling the lawsuit to move forward. 

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) 
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography. 

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NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

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The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

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NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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