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Growing demand fuels child pornography in Indonesia

Growing demand fuels child pornography in Indonesia

by Gemma Holliani Cahya and Arya Dipa

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Pornographic videos involving three boys and widely shared in social media last week suggest that global and domestic demand is fuelling child pornography in Indonesia.

The latest case revolves around footage depicting a woman engaging in sexual acts with two boys in one video and another woman with one boy in another video.

The videos showed three street boys aged 7 to 13, said Sr. Comr. Umar Surya Fana, director of the criminal investigation unit at the West Java Police, which is probing the case. Police suspect the videos were filmed in two hotels in the provincial capital of Bandung, given the Sundanese conversations recorded.

Police said the videos had been carefully crafted, as there was chatter of adults giving directions. West Java Police have searched the hotels where the criminal acts allegedly took place.

There are indications that the videos were produced for pedophile rings. “We are still digging deeper [to ascertain] whether the videos were going to be sold domestically or abroad,” Umar said on Sunday.

West Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Agung Budi Maryoto said he suspected the videos had been filmed over a period of several days around November last year.

“We are hunting down the ones who recorded and directed the videos,” he added.

Police are also aiming to find the three children to develop the case and to give them protection and help.

The Indonesian chapter of Bangkok-based NGO End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) warned that the videos might be a sign of increasing domestic and global demand for child-pornographic content from Indonesia.

“This is a multimillion dollar business. Child porn connoisseurs will pay a lot of money for this kind of video. There is growing demand for this, that’s why it keeps being produced,” ECPAT Indonesia coordinator Ahmad Sofian told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

According to the NGO’s research, child victims of sexual exploitation, such as child marriages, sex trafficking or sexual assault are typically girls between the ages of 12 and 17. However, boys in particular are more prone to become targets of pedophiles, according to a study conducted by the NGO in 15 countries, including Indonesia, in 2016.

“The study shows that more than 95 percent of pedophiles prefer boys,” he said.

Indonesia has various regulations and laws in place to protect children, but rampant cases of violence and assault against children show the regulations fall short of their goal of protecting them.

“We are facing a global child pornography business, so we have to be very serious in handling this with capable and skillful human resources,” he said.

Indonesia is among other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Cambodia that has long been seen as a haven for pedophiles, including those coming from abroad. The public was shocked when the Jakarta Police uncovered in March last year a Facebook group called Official Candy’s Group, where thousands of users shared child pornography. The members were required to regularly upload links to videos of different victims, some of which were created by the members themselves.

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