Fact Check: World Economic Forum Did NOT Declare That Pedophiles 'Will Save Humanity'

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: World Economic Forum Did NOT Declare That Pedophiles 'Will Save Humanity' No Record

Did the World Economic Forum declare, as part of a purported campaign to promote public acceptance of pedophilia, that "pedophiles will save humanity"? No, that's not true: No credible evidence exists that the WEF has made any such statement. The website on which this claim appeared has a reputation for publishing fabricated and inaccurate content.

The claim appeared in a January 3, 2023, article on NewsPunch titled "World Economic Forum Declares Pedophiles 'Will Save Humanity'" (archived here). The article opened:

The World Economic Forum is now calling for the decriminalization of sex with children, arguing that laws against "age gap love," more commonly known as pedophilia, "violate human rights."

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

World Economic Forum Declares Pedophiles 'Will Save Humanity' - News Punch

The World Economic Forum is now calling for the decriminalization of sex with children, arguing that laws against "age gap love," more commonly known as pedophilia, "violate human rights."

A January 5, 2023, Twitter
search, using the parameters "Age Gap Love laws violate human rights (World OR Economic OR Forum)," as indicated in the NewsPunch article, did not produce any statement from WEF's verified Twitter account that substantiated the article's claim. A search of the WEF website, using the keywords "Age Gap Love laws violate human rights," also proved fruitless.

A Google News search, using the keywords "World Economic Forum Declares Pedophiles Will Save Humanity," similarly yielded no results to substantiate NewsPunch's claim.

A Yandex search for the composite photo of WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab featured in the NewsPunch article revealed that the image dated from a January 16, 2017, Fox News article titled, "Davos forum chief: 'It's important to listen' to populists." The Fox News story does not contain any of the information found in the NewsPunch article.

Lead Stories has contacted the WEF about NewsPunch's claim and will update this fact check accordingly if a response is received.

Without proof, NewsPunch alleged that the WEF "ordered the mainstream media to begin pushing the narrative ..." The site mentions an October 5, 2014, New York Times op-ed article, titled "Pedophilia: A Disorder, Not a Crime," by Margo Kaplan, a Rutgers Law School professor, as a supposed case in point.

NewsPunch highlights a paragraph in which Kaplan notes that "Without legal protection, a pedophile cannot risk seeking treatment or disclosing his status to anyone for support." Yet, beneath that paragraph, Kaplan, who specializes in criminal law, health law and sex crimes, also wrote that limitations should exist for diagnosed pedophiles' civil rights, when balanced against other individuals' needs:

There's no question that the extension of civil rights protections to people with pedophilia must be weighed against the health and safety needs of others, especially kids. It stands to reason that a pedophile should not be hired as a grade-school teacher. But both the A.D.A. and the Rehabilitation Act contain exemptions for people who are "not otherwise qualified" for a job or who pose "a direct threat to the health and safety of others" that can't be eliminated by a reasonable accommodation. (This is why employers don't have to hire blind bus drivers or mentally unstable security guards.)

This paragraph was omitted from NewsPunch's article.

NewsPunch (formerly YourNewsWire) has published hoaxes and fake news articles in the past. Their Facebook page, "The People's Voice," even lost its verification checkmark over such fake news, according to a 2018 report from Media Matters For America, a non-profit misinformation watchdog.

NewsPunch's Terms of Use (archived here) make it clear that the site does not stand behind the accuracy of any of its reporting:


Additional Lead Stories fact checks about the World Economic Forum and NewsPunch can be found here.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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