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Child pornography: Model legislation & Global review (2010, 6th Edition)


A publication of The Koons Family Institute on International Law & Policy, an initiative of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC). This edition expands the review from 187 Interpol member countries to include to 196 countries.


Since this report was first released by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) in April 2006, ICMEC has continued to update its research into the child pornography legislation currently in place in the nations of the world to gain a better understanding of existing legislation and to gauge where the issue stands on national political agendas. In particular, we are looking to see if national legislation: (1) exists with specific regard to child pornography; (2) provides a definition of child pornography; (3) criminalizes computer‐facilitated offenses; (4) criminalizes the knowing possession of child pornography, regardless of the intent to distribute; and (5) requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to report suspected child pornography to law enforcement or to some other mandated agency.

In the summer of 2009, ICMEC conducted a thorough update of our research on existing child pornography legislation, expanding our review beyond the 187 Interpol member countries to include 196 countries. Our work included independent research as well as direct contact with Embassies in Washington, D.C. to ensure the accuracy of the report. 

Sadly, our end results continue to shock. Of the 196 countries reviewed:

  • only 45 have legislation sufficient to combat child pornography offenses (8 countries meet all of the criteria set forth above and 37 countries meet all but the last criteria, pertaining to ISP reporting); and
  • 89 have no legislation at all that specifically addresses child pornography.

Of the remaining countries that do have legislation specifically addressing child pornography:

  • 52 do not define child pornography in national legislation;
  • 18 do not provide for computer‐facilitated offenses; and
  • 33 do not criminalize the knowing possession of child pornography, regardless of the intent to distribute.