STATEMENT – Canada Introduces Bill to Confront Lack of Age and Consent Verification in Online Pornography

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Washington, DC (May 27, 2021) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) supports the efforts of Canada’s MP Arnold Viersen to hold the pornography industry accountable by enacting stringent age and consent verification standards.

The Canadian bill introduced by MP Viersen “amends the Criminal Code to prohibit a person from making pornographic material for commercial purposes without having first ascertained that each person whose image is depicted in the material is 18 years of age or older and has given their express consent to their image being depicted. It also prohibits a person from distributing or advertising pornographic material for commercial purposes without having first ascertained that each person whose image is depicted in the material was 18 years of age or older at the time the material was made and gave their express consent to their image being depicted.

“The pornography industry systemically fails to verify age or consent of the individuals depicted in sexually-explicit material – leading to horrific trauma for survivors of sex trafficking, child sexual abuse, and non-consensually shared/recorded intimate images as their sexual exploitation is viewed around the world. It is time for a paradigm shift, and for survivors to be heard. This bill is an important step in that direction, said Dani Pinter, senior legal counsel for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“Pornhub, XVideos, XHamster, and other online pornography sites have profited for far too long without even ensuring that the content they are monetizing does not depict rape, sex trafficking or child sexual abuse. Many survivors have suffered as a direct result. It is past time for profiteers of exploitation to have a measure of accountability,” said Pinter.

NCOSE, along with over 700 survivors and advocates from around the world, over 375 of which are U.S.-based, have called on U.S. Congressional leaders to open a criminal investigation into Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, and other similarly-structured pornography tube sites.

An online petition has garnered over 2.2 million signatures to shut down Pornhub for aiding sex trafficking. Five civil lawsuits have been filed against MindGeek, including two class action lawsuits in the U.S. on behalf of minors, one of which was jointly filed by NCOSE and several other law firms on behalf of two survivors of childhood sex trafficking. A class action lawsuit was filed by NCOSE and several other law firms against XVideos on behalf of a survivor of childhood sex trafficking.

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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The Numbers

300+

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

100+

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

93

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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