Credit card companies must stop processing payments for the exploitative pornography industry

International Coalition Calls on Major Card Companies to Cease Work with Porn Industry

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Child safety and anti-sexual exploitation advocates and organizations from Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Denmark, England, India, Ireland, Liberia, Scotland, Sweden, Uganda, and the United States of America sent a joint letter this week to major credit card and payment processing companies requesting them to stop processing payments for the hardcore pornography industry – marking the first international effort to do so. Read the joint international letter here.

Among the signatories was Dr Darryl Mead, Chief Executive Officer of The Reward Foundation. Darryl commented that “It is essential that the commercial pornography suppliers operate in a legal way. Major players who use weak vetting processes for age or consent should not be allowed to operate.”

BBC News ran a major story featuring this call on 8 May 2020.

Human rights violations

“Major credit card companies continue to provide infrastructure to the exploitative pornography industry. As international anti-exploitation leaders, we urgently call on these financial institutions to cease processing payments and thereby refuse to aid human rights violations,” said Haley McNamara, director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation in the UK, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“We believe this decision would be in line with your corporate ethical commitment to processing legal purchases, and that it will advance your reputation by refusing profits from sexual violence, incest, sex trafficking, child sexual abuse material, and other exploitation,” wrote 14 international organizations in a letter sent to: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Diners Club International, Epoch Payment Solutions, Maestro Debit Cards, JCB International Credit, and PayPal (which previously cut ties with Pornhub last year, although it still appears to be used on other pornography websites).

“The pornography industry does not judge or verify consent in any videos on their sites, let alone live webcam videos,” McNamara continued. “Tragically, this has resulted in worldwide cases of rape, child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and non-consensually shared pornography (or ‘revenge porn’) being uploaded onto mainstream pornography websites.”

“Further, we know that mainstream pornography is promoting themes of incest, rape, racism, sex with youth, and sexual violence against women, which warps many users’ sexual and neurological development. It is time for mainstream companies to stop propping up an industry that is inherently built on sexual exploitation.” “In 2015, Visa and Mastercard rightly stopped processing payments for Backpage.com after learning about the exploitation it facilitated. We are calling on all credit card and payment processing companies to stop aiding sexual abuse and harm on all pornography websites,” McNamara concluded.

Join the campaigns

If you want to be part of this campaign to put pressure on credit card companies to stop working with pornography suppliers, you can do so with just one click. See this blog by NCOSE with the details.

In a separate action, Exodus Cry, an anti human trafficking group has launched a petition on Change.org to Shut Down Pornhub and Hold Its Executives Accountable for Aiding Trafficking. In the past two months this petition has attracted 870,000 signatures world-wide. Add yours now!

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