Monday, January 18, 1999 Published at 18:55 GMT
New war on Internet porn
Paedophile networks are a global problem, says Unesco
Experts from 40 countries have gathered in Paris to co-ordinate an international offensive against child pornography on the Internet.
He said: "We must try to co-ordinate efforts worldwide to stop the sex abuse of children, a kind of violence that is so perverse and inadmissible."
About 250 international experts and scores of official and non-governmental organisations are to focus on establishing ways of tracking down those using the Net to exchange under-age pornographic material.
In France, offenders can be jailed for up to three years in prison.
Our correspondent says access providers are sometimes accused of dragging their feet in eradicating the trade in pornographic images.
Carole Bouquet, a spokeswoman for the Voice of Children group, said: "We need the industry to be involved with us.
"There is no debate about freedom [of speech]."
Senior Unesco officials, who organised the two-day conference, say paedophile networks represent a serious global problem which needs a global response.
The conference, at Unesco's Paris headquarters, is to look at the establishment of an international legal framework to tackle the problem.
Mr Mayor suggested designing search engines with filters - systems that would block access to paedophilia sites.
He also proposed to set up a global electronic watchdog and a group of leading international personalities to support major actions against the misuse of the Internet.
Experts will also examine a number of other issues, including the need to alert doctors, police officers and judges and warn parents and children of the dangers of paedophilia.
The meeting was announced last September, a day after 100 people in 12 countries were arrested in a major international operation against paedophiles trafficking child pornography on the Net.
Police officers leading the investigation codenamed Operation Cathedral allegedly discovered more than 100,000 indecent images of children as young as two from a US-based paedophile club on the Internet.
French police computer experts have also begun identifying Internet paedophile networks. They have cracked three rings over the past two years, placing more than 200 suspects under investigation.