If the pictures are intended for personal use, children should not be accused of producing, storing and distributing pornography.
The Lanzarote Committee, an organ of the Council of Europe overseeing the application of the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, has published recommendations on how to treat adolescents who photograph themselves nude. This is reported on the website of the international organization.
The document should become a guide for the countries participating in the council on solving problems related to “sexing” – the creation and sharing of children’s own photos with a sexual context. The committee believes that this phenomenon can not be called child pornography, if the pictures are needed for personal use. Children who are forced to “sexting” should not be prosecuted, they should receive support as victims.
If children deliberately distribute sexual photographs and videotapes, they should be prosecuted only in extreme cases, priority should be given to more appropriate methods to combat such behavior. According to the committee, in 2018, every fourth child image with a sexual context on the Internet was made by the children themselves, whose age is “decreasing.”
Kommersant cited the results of a study conducted by the EU Kids Online Survey, in which 20% of minors published their photos on the Internet in 2014, the same number of children aged 14 to 16 laid out pictures with a sexual context.