There has been a steady increase in child pornography prosecutions over the last 10 years, partly as a result on the ease at which it can be found online. In some cases it is relatively easy to determine what constitutes child pornography, for instance videos or photographs depicting young children involved in sexual activities. In other cases, it may be more difficult. One example of that is in the ares of cartoons or anime. Do they constitute child pornography or not? The answer is that it depends.
Child pornography is defined as a photographic , film, video, or other visual representation, whether or not it was made by electronic or mechanical means, that shows that a person who is or is depicted as being under the age of 18 years and is engaged in or is dpecited as engaged in explicit sexual activity; or the dominant characteristic of which is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of a sexual organ or the anal region of a person under the age of eighteen years.
Clearly, an animated picture of a child engaging in sexual activity could meet this definition. However, when it comes to animation it can sometimes be difficult to perdict if the person depicted is under the age of 18 years or not. Ultimately, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a reasonable observer would believe the person is being depicted as someone under the age of 18. This issue, along with other defences such as the private use defence, may arise in cases of child pornography involving cartoon images.