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PACE sets out recommendations on the human rights implications of pornography

PACE is calling for comprehensive sexuality education in schools to become “the main source of information on sexuality for young people”, thus helping prevent the spread of unreliable and potentially harmful information via pornography.

Adopting a resolution based on the report by Frank Heinrich (Germany, EPP/CD) on the gender aspects and human rights implications of pornography, the Assembly’s Standing Committee said such material often engendered and perpetuated stereotypes by “conveying an image of women as subordinate to men, as objects and trivialising violence against women”.

It set out steps to counter the “negative and degrading image” of women portrayed in pornography, such as sexuality education, critical thinking tools for young people and greater support for parents to deal with cybersexism, and made a series of recommendations on the production, distribution and consumption of pornography.

Anti-porn filters should be activated by default on all new computers and portable devices, internet providers should enable customers to clearly opt in or out of access to such material, age-verification should be a legal obligation, and porn websites should carry warnings about potential harm. Pornography should be banned in the workplace, and employers required to install blocking filters.

The consent of all those depicted should be strictly verified, while providers should be required to collect the identities and contacts of everyone who uploads public pornographic material, the committee said. “Revenge pornography” should be criminalised, and states should consider extending existing bans on “the glorification of criminal acts” to cover violent pornography.

Meanwhile, the rights of all involved in the production of pornography, especially women and in particular performers, should be protected, with safe and dignified work conditions and fair remuneration.