Amazon pulls disgusting ‘realistic’ child sex dolls from website in France

Amazon France has withdrawn advertisements for child-sized realistic sex dolls, following a campaign by activists. However, worldwide laws against the dolls remain scant, and Amazon’s enforcement is lacking.

When screenshots of the dolls surfaced online over the weekend, French anti-pedophile activist group AIVI alerted the authorities. On Monday, Adrien Taquet, France’s junior child protection minister, announced that Amazon had pulled the ads at his request.

“Banishing child crime from our society is everyone’s responsibility,” Taquet tweeted.

However, while some advertisements were removed, more remained active on Amazon France as of Monday evening. Activists provided links to several dolls for sale which clearly depicted minors, and whose manufacturers boasted of the dolls’ “realistic three holes,” and their “discreet shipping” – a feature likely valued by buyers, given the repulsive nature of the products.

Amazon’s own rules prohibit the sale of “products depicting children or characters resembling children in a sexually suggestive manner,” as well as “Sexual health products unless listed by pre-approved sellers.” However, similar dolls have cropped up before on the site, and have remained online until government authorities brought the listings to Amazon’s attention.

Child sex dolls were discovered for sale in the US last year, and swiftly removed by Amazon. However, in some cases the sellers did not have their accounts banned. Similar cases cropped up in the UK and Austria in recent years, and on almost every occasion, new listings were put online within hours of Amazon’s removals.

With Amazon thus far lax to enforce its own policies, the onus has fallen on activists and authorities. Yet all they can do is request removal, as the sale of these dolls is legal in some jurisdictions. Importing the dolls is illegal in the UK, but their ownership is legal. The depiction of minors in a pornographic setting is illegal under section 227-23 of the French Penal Code, yet this law does not mention dolls in any way. 

In the US, where such dolls are legal, a bill – aptly named the CREEPER Act – that would have banned their importation and transportation passed the House in 2018, but it has languished in the Senate ever since. 

Meanwhile, Amazon gives users no form to quickly report the sale of child sex dolls, meaning outrage campaigns stand the best chance of getting the ads taken down. 

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