Today the U.K. based Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety published a “Digital Manifesto” which it sent to all the major political parties contesting seats in the forthcoming General Election to the U.K. Parliament.
According to the Manifesto:
The government should consider the need for a new legal right for a child to obtain compensation from any person found to be in unlawful possession of an image of them that contravenes section 1 of the Protection of Children Act, 1978. This consideration should include (i) whether each person found in possession of an image should be considered jointly and severally liable for the full amount of the assessed damage suffered and compensation awarded and (ii) whether this right to obtain compensation should be extended to any identified child, irrespective of the country they live in, giving the child a cause of action within English courts.
Here at home, the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act of 2015 is already leading the world by establishing a comprehensive right to victim restitution which includes joint and several liability and a cause of action in federal district courts.
As Senator Chuck Grassley said upon passage of the AVA in the Senate: “The choice is between the convicted child pornography offender being held responsible for the full loss and the innocent victim not receiving full compensation.”
The passage of the AVA by the House and President Obama’s expected signature will set the standard for child pornography victim compensation worldwide. As the U.K.’s Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety Chair, John Carr, noted, “there has been a substantial degree of consensus between the major parties on all matters connected with online child safety.”
With an equal number of Democrats and Republicans supporting the AVA in the House, the same can be said in the United States. Let’s hope the Senate’s bi-partisan attitude toward child pornography victim restitution continues in the House. Let’s pass the AVA now!