By: Flor Wang and Chang Ming-hsuan
Taipei, Nov. 24 (CNA) The government is mulling heavier penalties for offenders linked to child pornography as part of its efforts to combat an epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
As the issue is getting alarmingly worse in Taiwan, the Ministry of Health and Welfare is considering amending the Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act to impose stiffer punishments for offenders involved in the sexual abuse of children, Chang Hsiu-yuan (張秀鴛), director of the ministry's Department of Protective Services told reporters on Tuesday.
Under the current law, anyone caught possessing child pornography can be fined NT$10,000 (US$351)-NT$100,000, and those found guilty of disseminating or selling such materials can be sentenced to jail terms of up to three years in addition to fines of up to NT$5 million.
During the first half of the year, an average of 2.38 indecent or obscene photos of children were disseminated every day across Taiwan, underscoring the severity of the issue, she said.