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Thursday, September 3, 1998 Published at 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK


Unesco plots Net child porn crackdown

Italian police reveal details of their role in Wednesday's anti-porn operation

The United Nations' cultural agency, Unesco, is planning a meeting to co-ordinate an international offensive against child pornography on the Internet.

Officials and experts on child pornography will plan their strategy at a gathering at Unesco's headquarters in Paris in January.

The meeting was announced the day after 100 people in 12 countries were arrested in a major international operation against paedophiles trafficking child pornography on the Net.

'Crackdown overdue'

The Director General of Unesco, Frederico Mayor, said a crackdown on child pornography on the Internet was long overdue.

"It is high time that the international community stands up against the violence and perversity victimising our children," he said in a statement.

"The information superhighways transport the best and the worst. Pornography and paedophilia have moved in and they have to be dislodged.

"We cannot allow paedophilia, pornography and child prostitution to pervert these routes of liberty."

The meeting will bring together police, experts in the problem of child prostitution and anti-paedophilia groups such as those created in Belgium after the sex killings of children.

It is a sign of increasing international co-operation to counter paedophiles operating on the Internet.

Wednesday's police operation against child pornographers was one of the largest ever, bringing together forces in 12 countries.

They discovered more than 100,000 indecent images of children as young as two from the US-based paedophile club on the Internet.

Detective Superintendent, John Stewardson, who led the operation from Britain, said the material seized "would absolutely turn the stomach of any right-minded person".

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