Centres most of its activities in the struggle against child pornography on the Internet. In 2003 and 2004, the Spanish police opened 106 investigations with hundreds of suspects involved thanks to information supplied by PROTEGELES. To this figure must be added the cases opened by police in other countries to which PROTEGELES also reports..
1.3.1 General Provisions
Child pornography is covered by Article 189 of Spanish Criminal Law: 1. A sentence of one to three years imprisonment shall be imposed on:
4. Any person who has under his or her responsibility, care, guardianship or foster care, an under-age or incapable person and, knowing of his or her situation of prostitution or corruption, does not do all that is possible to prevent the continuation of such situation or does not inform the competent authorities for the same purpose if he or she does not have the means necessary for the custody of the minor or incapable person, shall be punished by a fine.
5. The Public Prosecutor shall take the necessary action in order to remove the parental responsibility, care, guardianship or foster care, as appropriate, from any person who commits any of the offences described above.
It is important to underline that where there is a child pornography offence (Article 189 of Criminal law), there could be concurrent offences, as there are frequently associated cases of sexual abuse or rape.
Article 189 of Spanish Criminal Law protects certain rights which are of particular importance to children. It is therefore essential to be aware of those rights.
The protected rights are:
Any consideration of the legal interpretation of child pornography must take into account the protection of these rights.
Article 189 of Spanish Criminal Law defines the activities related to child pornography which are prohibited and, therefore, punishable. Said Article should always be interpreted in a restrictive manner. However, in many cases it is still difficult to determine with sufficient certainty whether a given image should be considered child pornography or not.
With the reform of Spanish Criminal Law, for the first time in Spain, the possession of pornographic material became an offence punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment for any person possessing pornographic material in which persons of under 18 years of age have been used (photographs, videos, real digitalised images, electronic files, etc). It also introduced the offence of the production, sale and distribution of pseudo-pornography, that is, of pornographic material in which minors have not directly been used but which uses their altered or modified image or voice (known as “morphing”). Finally, penalties were increased to up to four years’ imprisonment for the production, sale or distribution of (real) pornography in which a child of under 18 years of age has been involved or up to eight years’ imprisonment if the child is under 13.