Child pornography: read more


Child pornography is a crime consisting in the production, dissemination, distribution and advertising, including online, of images or videos depicting children and adolescents involved in real or simulated sexually explicit conduct and any representation of the sexual organs of minors for sexual purposes (Law 172/2012 - Ratification and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Children from Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation). The viewing, exchange, and sharing online of this type of material is therefore prohibited by law.

The term "child pornography" is considered less appropriate, believing instead that we should refer to materials (images, videos, etc.) that show the action of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. The sexual abuse of minors is not a new phenomenon but the advent first and the continuous evolution today of digital technologies has expanded and profoundly changed the ways in which it manifests itself. The tools and services offered by technologies and digital innovation allow, in fact, adults sexually interested in minors, always new possibilities to share child pornography (images, videos and texts) or to get in touch with them, online. Images and videos of this nature are the visual record of violence committed against a child, a girl or a teenager. Reporting the presence of child pornography online allows law enforcement to investigate in order to identify not only who is producing, possessing and sharing this material but, more importantly, to identify the underage persons in the images and videos and ensure they have the necessary protection and support.

The phenomenon of online abuse is a transnational phenomenon by its very nature and the fight against its spread implies the involvement of multiple actors, mainly local and international law enforcement (EUROPOL and INTERPOL), institutions, NGOs and referral social services.

At the same time, if a risk is detected regarding the psychophysical well-being of minors involved in the viewing of this type of content, it is advisable to contact a service responsible for offering psychological support, including consultation with the general practitioner or paediatrician of reference. The public structures to be addressed are the social-health local services (Family Consultants, Services of Child Neuropsychiatry, centres specialising in child abuse and maltreatment, etc.). It is also requested, if you are aware of this type of crime, that you report it to the: Polizia di Stato - Compartimento di Polizia postale e delle Comunicazioni; Polizia di Stato - Questura o Commissariato di P.S. del territorio di competenza; Arma dei Carabinieri - Comando Provinciale o Stazione del territorio di competenza; Polizia di Stato - Commissariato online (through the portal


The crime of online solicitation for sexual purposes, also called "grooming" (from the English "to groom" which means to care of, to look after), is configured and consists of a series of activities by adults with a sexual interest in a child or an adolescent. In other words, it is a pathway, which sees the use of various techniques of psychological manipulation by adults who are potential online abusers, to induce children or adolescents to overcome emotional resistance and establish an intimate and/or sexualised relationship. Adults with such intentions directed at children and adolescents use the communication channels offered by digital technologies to make contact with them and gradually gain their trust, leading in some cases to physical encounters.


If you are a parent and want to know more about online grooming risk, download this Parents Guide "Grooming Online. Knowledge and prevention", written by the Crime Analysis Unit of the Postal Police (U.A.C.I.) and Save the Children.


In summary, Italian Law always considers and punish any conduct concerning “child pornography” content: production, detention, dissemination, trade, advertising of the material and - from 2022 – intentional access to sites containing child pornographic material intentionally and without justified reason (Law 238/ 2021, in force from 17 January 2022), even without downloading or storing the material. The Italian legislation also bans viewing pornographic exhibitions and shows involving children (Article 600-ter.2.). This provision could be used to criminalise live streaming of child sexual abuse.


The EU and its member states work together to effectively fight online child sexual abuse, and to protect victims using safeguarding strategies. New rules to combat online child sexual abuse are under discussion. Read more here.