Child pornography laws in the Netherlands

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Child pornography laws in the Netherlands declare child pornography illegal, making it one of the 103 out of 193 UN member states where it is illegal.

Dutch law referring to child pornography[edit]

According to the Wetboek van Strafrecht:

  • Article 240b,[1] number 1 prohibits the production, distribution, possession and sale of child pornography, and gaining access to it by means of the Internet. Maximum imprisonment is 4 years or a fine of the fifth category (€ 78,000).
  • Article 240b,[1] number 2 prohibits committing crime, described under number 1 as a profession or as a habit. Maximum imprisonment is 8 years or a fine of the fifth category (€ 78,000).

In the Netherlands, the definition of child pornography is: pictures (photos and videos) of sexual acts of someone that seems to be younger than 18 years.


In 1970, the publication of sex magazine Chick resulted in the Dutch "Chick-arrest" by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, which in turn led to the new Dutch moral law of 1971 that no longer criminally sanctioned pornography.[2] As a result, child pornography also became effectively legal and Joop Wilhelmus started publishing child pornography magazine Lolita.[3][4][5][6]

1984 police raids[edit]

In 1984, a major police raid against child pornography occurred in the Netherlands. During the late 1970s, there had been media reports about the illicit trade, but there were few if any criminal investigations on the topic.[7]

2002 legislation[edit]

On October 1, 2002, the Netherlands introduced legislation (Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 470) which deemed "virtual child pornography" as illegal.[8] An attempt to test the law came in 2007, when the public prosecutor opened investigations into Second Life (the US based virtual world).[9] A number of Second Life users engage in sexual ageplay where their online avatars dress, act and look like underage children while engaging in virtual sexual acts. Although there is no Dutch law that legislates against under age depictions of sexual acts for computer generated images, the public prosecutor is investigating this on the basis that these virtual actions may incite child abuse in the real world.[10] So far this has not led to any successful prosecutions.

Significant rise in illegal websites[edit]

Press reports in 2008 described a large rise in the number of child pornography websites hosted in the Netherlands, increasing from 100 reports of sites in 2006 to 700 in 2007.[11]

2008 court case[edit]

In March 2008, a 52-year-old male was convicted for abusing a 5-year-old. He has been convicted to a two-year suspended jail sentence, with a ten-year probation period. The police also found a CGI clip depicting sexual acts between a man and an eight-year-old girl on his computer. Prosecution claims that this animation could have been used to entice young children into sexual acts with grown-ups, due to the title and the contents of the animation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Dutch Senate (2 July 1985). "Dutch Senate referencing the Chick-arrest" (in Dutch). Staten-Generaal Digitaal. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Howitt, Dennis; Sheldon, Kerry (2007). Sex Offenders and the Internet. John Wiley & Sons. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-470-02800-1. 
  4. ^ Beetstra, Tjalling (2009). Van kwaad tot erger. De sociale constructie van satanisch ritueel misbruik in de Verenigde Staten en Nederland [From Bad to Worse. The Social Construction of Satanic Ritual Abuse in the United States and the Netherlands] (Thesis) (in Dutch). Datawyse/Universitaire Pers Maastricht. 
  5. ^ Van der Ploeg, Jan; De Groot, Roel, eds. (2010). "6.4 Is pedoseksualiteit schadelijk?" [6.4 Is Pedosexuality Harmful?]. Kindermishandeling: een complex probleem [Child Abuse: A Complex Problem] (in Dutch). Antwerpen: Garant. p. 110. ISBN 9789044125771. 
  6. ^ Tate, Tim (1990). Child Pornography: An Investigation. Methuen Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-413-61540-4. 
  7. ^ Schuijer, Jan; Rossen, Benjamin (1992). "The Trade in Child Pornography". IPT Journal. Institute for Psychological Therapies. 4. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  8. ^ Justitie (1 October 2002). Retrieved January 20, 2006. Archived April 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Libbenga, Jan (21 February 2007). "Dutch demand ban of virtual child porn in Second Life". The Register. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "Virtual child porn may be a crime in Netherlands". Reuters. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "Explosive rise in child porn websites". 11 April 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2009.