As the International Day of Women is observed in political institutions across the world today, the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations (FAFCE) wishes to draw attention to the dignity of women and the attacks against it through pornography where the woman is reduced to an object. In 2015, NBC News reported that the pornographic industry is worth an estimated $97 billion globally. There is a vicious circle between pornography, sexual exploitation and abuse, and human trafficking. Sexual exploitation is the main reason for trafficking in Western and Central Europe. According to a study by the European Parliament on Sexual exploitation and prostitution from 2014 human trafficking for sexual exploitation is considered one of the most lucrative illicit businesses in Europe, with criminal groups making about $3 billion from it per year.

The prostitution market is a highly globalized and “industrialised” phenomenon where millions of women and children from deprived backgrounds all over the world are bought and sold by criminal circles to macro brothels which can exploit hundreds of victims at once.

The addiction to pornography creates a demand for more extreme forms of pornography, leading in its turn to continuous exploitation and trafficking of women and children who are the victims of this modern form of slavery.

As the European Union is reviewing its Audiovisual Media Services Directive there is an opportunity to reinforce the protection of minors from harmful contents, which in its turn can contribute to preventing addiction to pornography. The exposure of children to pornography has a huge impact on their understanding of sexuality, and in particular of the woman and her dignity as women are mainly pictured as objects in this context.

FAFCE launched a call to the Members of the European Parliament to ask them to protect children from harmful audiovisual contents such as pornography and violence. The call which is open for signatures has already been signed by 14 international and European NGOs. 

Maria Hildingsson
+32 4 70 20 39 18