Sweden to Criminalize the Viewing of Child Pornography

STOCKHOLM, Sweden—In what is being called an “extraordinary” meeting, the Swedish government met Monday to consider legislation that will criminalize the viewing, as opposed to the downloading, of child pornography. Currently, Swedish law prohibits the possession of images of child sexual abuse, but not the act of viewing such images.

The government also is considering placing more rigorous age restrictions on the production of adult content, according to The Local, and hopes to introduce a law that makes pornographic images of children under the age of 18 legally classified as child pornography.

The new law regarding the viewing of images of child sexual abuse, if passed, will go into effect July 1, 2010. Resetting the legal age of consent from 15 to 18 requires a constitutional amendment, however, that must be approved by two consecutive governments. The current right-center administration is thus hoping that that phase of the planned changes will be completed shortly after next September's general election, enabling the new age limit to become law January 1, 2011.