STATEMENT – Joint Letter to Congress by Over 700 Survivors and Advocates Calls for U.S. Criminal Investigation Into Pornhub

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Washington, DC (May 19, 2021) –The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (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. MindGeek has studios, servers, and offices in the U.S.

The joint letter points to MindGeek as the prime example of “corporate indifference regarding harm caused to women and children on its platform,” as it has “received widespread international condemnation for facilitating and profiting from criminal acts including sex trafficking, filmed sexual abuse of children, and non-consensually recorded and distributed pornography.”

The letter states that Congressional leaders “have the power to discover why the sexual assault of women and children, child sexual abuse material (also known as child pornography), and non-consensual intimate images are being uploaded and distributed on internet platforms. This is occurring with no apparent legal consequences to individual perpetrators or the digital facilitators of monetized sexual abuse, (which constitutes human trafficking) as well as criminal sexual violence, and gross violations of privacy rights.”

Congress must act to bring justice for survivors whose pleas to remove their child sexual abuse, sex trafficking and non-consensually recorded and distributed material on MindGeek-owned Pornhub have been repeatedly ignored,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

MindGeek has profited from illegal material for far too long, and it must be held to account. Even now, Canada has opened an investigation into MindGeek for violations of federal privacy laws. U.S. authorities must take action as well.

MindGeek cannot continue to operate with impunity. Congress must step up to bring justice for survivors, and to put an end to the pornography industry’s penchant for preying on vulnerable people,” Hawkins added.

NCOSE and other survivors and advocates held a virtual Congressional briefing in April that presented evidence of the rampant criminality on Pornhub and included testimony from survivors. 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.

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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