Parliament Passes Anti-Pornography Bill Top story

2931 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The Bill defines pornography as "Any cultural practice, form of behavior or form of communication or leisure activity that depicts a person engaged in explicit sexual activities or conduct erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement or indecent act or behavior intended to corrupt morals”.

A new law that seeks to tackle the insidious social problem of pornography in the Ugandan mass media and nude dancing in the entertainment world is passed by parliament.
 
The Anti-Pornography Bill prohibits uploading on internet, a display, entertainment, music, dance, pictures or audio among others which depicts a person engaged in explicit sexual activities intended to corrupt morals.
 
The Bill defines pornography as "Any cultural practice, form of behavior or form of communication or leisure activity that depicts a person engaged in explicit sexual activities or conduct erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement or indecent act or behavior intended to corrupt morals”.

Stephen Tashobya, the Kajara County MP observes that while pornography in its different forms is already prohibited in Uganda in different laws, there is no single law to comprehensively stamp out the vice in society.

Tashobya was presenting the findings of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee which asked Parliament to pass the Bill into law.

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The Bill provides for the creation of the Anti-Pornography committee responsible for the implementation of the law.
 
Among its functions, the committee will be responsible for taking the necessary measures to ensure the early detection and prohibition of pornography and where it has occurred, to collect and destroy pornographic objects.

State Minister for Ethics and Integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo argues that one of the dangers of pornography is that it fuels sexual crimes against women and children including rape, child molestation and incest.  
 
An excited Lokodo noted says that the law will now stop all sorts of strip teases, watching pornography in public and tabloids that publish nude pictures.

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Alice Alaso MP Serere County says she cannot wait for the President to assent to it especially for the protection of children who are exposed to all manner of pornographic material.

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The findings of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee observed that the current provision that specifically deals with the issue of pornography is section 166 of the Penal Code Cap 120 which penalizes trafficking in obscene publication.

This provision according to Tashobya is restricted to publications while pornography goes beyond publications. It includes communication speech, entertainment plays, motion pictures, art, nude dancing and the increased publication of pornographic materials in the country’s mass media.

The committee also states that there are some aspects of pornography control already covered in the current legal regime but none of them comprehensively deals with the vice. They cite the Computer Misuse Act 2011 which caters for child pornography albeit not comprehensively.

The other law is the prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2011 that offers protection for those trafficked to engage in pornography related activities but does not deal with the issue of pornography.

He thus concluded that there is no law to specifically provide for protection of the populace against pornography and children exploited in child pornography. 

The penalties for acting contrary to the Bill include suspension of operational license for the media house, persons who are directly involved will be subjected to seven years imprisonment while prostitutes will get not less than two years imprisonment.