Adult Sites Don’t Have to Verify Models’ Ages, Holland Justice Says

Jun 9, 2009 2:45 PM PST
THE HAGUE — Website owners and their companies that operate in the Netherlands don’t have to prove their models are over the age of consent, according to Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin speaking before the Dutch parliament.

The age of consent in the Netherlands is 16.

The issue was discussed in parliament during a session aimed at coming up with new ways to tackle child pornography.

The Socialist and Labour parties want the government to introduce a law making it compulsory for Dutch website owners and operators to keep model records, as is required in the U.S. under 18 U.S.C. § 2257.

But, according to Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin, this is not realistic. He said it would be going "really far" to expect the owners of these sites to hold copies of the identity papers of all of the models involved.

"The sheer volume of pornographic material, the fact that lots of it comes from outside the Netherlands and is often dated makes this in fact an impossible task for those running these sites," Ballin said.

The justice ministry already has the tools it needs to close down websites using underage models, Ballin added.

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