Media Council: Uganda Needs An Anti-Pornography Law

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In short
Most pornographic material is foreign and peddled by street vendors, video kiosks and cinema halls. Okello said. He noted that Uganda is guided by values and morals of Ugandan culture and the constitution which protects children from illicit material. The penal code outlaws pornography, it is illegal.

The explosion of pornographic material in form of films and music videos on the Uganda market is worrying, due loopholes that exist in the regulation that prohibits sell and distribution of material.

The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) provides that films intended for commercial use should go through vetting and certification before they hit the market.

Film producers and distributors are expected to get approval from UCC together with a license to trade. According to the Director of Broadcasting at UCC Jonas Bantulaki, vetting of material of pornographic content solely lies with Uganda Media Council.

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The Uganda Media Council has the role of censoring offensive materials, mainly pornography or racist, sectarian, or tribalistic. Speaking to URN Friday, on behalf of MCU Chairperson Dr.Gorreti Nassanga, Peter Okello MCU board member said there are loopholes in tracking down peddlers of pornography, MCU together with other enforcers are fighting the vice.    

Most pornographic material is foreign and peddled by street vendors, video kiosks and cinema halls. Okello said.

He noted that Uganda is guided by values and morals of Ugandan culture and the constitution which protects children from illicit material. The penal code outlaws pornography, it is illegal.

He however added that with the emergency of the internet, it becomes more difficult to regulate the industry since most users can easily access material online.

Okello encouraged parents to be vigilant and protect minors from being exposed to illicit material, blamed for the degradation in family morals. He stressed that there is need to pass the Anti-pornography law to strengthen the regulation framework on pornography.

The anti pornography bill was introduced in parliament in 2009, with the aim to punish those who engage in the vice, but the bill is yet to be made into law.

The bill provides that persons guilty of peddling pornographic material risk heavy penalties or a 10 year jail term. Pornography is also outlawed under the Penal Code Act.