Much of the pornography currently produced and made available through the Internet stands in serious conflict with gender equality, tackling stereotypes, protection of vulnerable persons and the promotion of human rights.
Harmful effects produced by the consumption and production of pornography have been documented. Pornography has been found to desensitise the consumer to sexual aggression, causing sexual aggression towards women, normalising sexual assault, and also producing rape myths, all of which has serious consequences for any attempt to reach gender equality.
The current legal reality is that there are very few effective regulations governing pornography either domestically in the Council of Europe region or internationally.
Recent studies have shown that a significant proportion of pornography viewed online contains violent, abusive, and/or coercive encounters against women.
Pornography often displays stereotype norms, racism and gender inequality, exploiting existing inequality between the sexes to coerce vulnerable people to perform unwanted, and even dangerous sexual acts as a form of documented prostitution. Furthermore, the persons being exploited in pornography are typically drawn from other forms of prostitution, often suffering multiple disadvantages, such as race and gender discrimination, extreme poverty and childhood sexual abuse.
The Council of Europe, as a guardian of human rights and the rule of law, and the Parliamentary Assembly should act fast, outlining legal policy proposals to tackle abuses against women and vulnerable persons in pornography.