Child pornography: curse for civilization
Monira Nazmi Jahan:
Child pornography is becoming a terrible wrongdoing across the whole world. Child pornography is most often made by taking pictures or videos or more rarely sound recordings of children who are wearing less clothing than usual, wearing no clothing, or having sex. Moreover, Child pornography is sometimes called “child sexual abuse images” because it is images (pictures) of a child who is being sexually abused. Child pornography can also be drawn, written, or created by a computer. In that case, it is called “simulated child pornography” or “virtual child pornography” the child in the pornography is simulated or virtual, meaning the child is not real.
There are several possible reasons for a person to look at child pornography. The most common is that the viewer is a pedophile, hebephile, or ephebophile who finds minors sexually attractive and uses pornography featuring minors to induce arousal. In case of Child Pornography, a pedophile can be categorized as three ways. First one is the secretive pedophile, whom leads a normal life having wife and children and they use child pornography to gratify him. The second category pedophile collects child pornography, such as sexual images or videos, for their own sexual satisfaction. This type also may never actually physically harm a child. But the most dangerous one is the active pedophile they actually create child pornography by taking videos or taking photographs of sexual acts against or with the child. Sometimes a person who plans to commit statutory rape may plan to show the pornography to a minor as a form of grooming to convince the minor that minors having sex with adults is normal.
In Bangladesh to prosecute under child pornography, few provisions are there regarding this.The Pornography Control Act 2012 is enacted upon those who and uses any child to produce, distribute or any person who produce, distribute, stored, sell or advertise any child pornography, then the person will be punished maximum 10 years rigorous imprisonment and upto 5 lacs taka fine and if someone uses internet, mobile phone, electronic device to distribute pornography then he shall be punished with maximum 5 years rigorous imprisonment with upto 2 lacs taka fine. According to Digital Security Act 2018, if any person uses electronic network to transmit these immoral pornography then he shall be also punished under this Act.In India, the crime is dealt with ‘The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012’ (POSCO) where the offenders for commission of this crime has been divided separately and has provision for punishments upto rigorous life imprisonment and shall also be liable to fine. Moreover, whoever stored any child pornography material for commercial purpose will be punished upto 3 years imprisonment and with/without fine. In the Maldives, there is ‘Special Provisions Act to Deal with Child Sex Abuse Offenders, Act number 12/2009’. In this Act it has been provided that a person is guilty of such an act if intentionally runs child prostitution, involves child in the creation of pornography or displays child’s sexual organ in pornography then shall be punished between 20 to 25 years of imprisonment. Nepal prosecutes this crime through ‘Act Relating to Children, 2018’ and the conviction of using child in pornography and to distribute, store or use actual or fictitious obscene pictures or audiovisual materials of children, is punished in imprisonment up to fifteen years and fine up to one hundred fifty thousand rupees. In Pakistan, child pornography is prosecuted with ‘Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act, 2016’. This provides that one is guilty of this offence if he involves child with or without consent in such activities. It provides punishment for two to seven years of imprisonment or fine from two hundred thousand to seven hundred thousand rupees. In Bhutan child pornography is not explicitly addressed under the municipal laws. The Penal Code of Bhutan 2004 amended in 2011 penalizes all kinds of pornography including child pornography under the provisions of computer pornography and the offence shall be a misdemeanor, carrying a sentence between one to three years. Child Pornography is also prohibited under the ‘Child Care and Protection Act’ 1998. In Sri Lanka, ‘The Penal Code’ de facto criminalizes child pornography and has a penalty of two to ten years and may also be liable to fine. In Afghanistan as they amended their Penal Code in 2017, one of the stiffest fines imposed for disseminating child pornography: medium-term imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of from AFG60,000 to AFG120,000. It is surprising at the same time worth praising that, this country is taking steps to prevent child pornography even after so many years.
To remove this crime from the society, children should be educated properly so that they do not become a prey to the hands of the offenders, not in person not in virtual life.On the other hand, young teens should be under guidance of their parents so that they do not become addicted of pornography. According to Travis Hirschi’s ‘Social Bond Theory’people’s relationships, commitments, values, norms, and beliefs encourage them not to break the law. The youth will be discouraged to commit a crime or break moral code if he/she has a good attachment with their parents, teachers and peer groups. Moreover, believe in God and law will also help youths not to be a delinquent. Indeed it is our duty as a citizen of a civilized society to help the law enforcement agencies and criminal justice system to remove this disease from our society to save our young generation.
In Conclusion it can be said that all South Asian countries have more or less sound laws for controlling this crime but still this crime is unstoppable. India has the most amended provisions and Maldives provides small details of crime to stop child pornography. Bangladesh has a good piece of law; however, it also has space to broaden the laws for controlling child pornography. We have strict laws but it is quite difficult to control child pornography based on only laws. We must create Social awareness to stop this horrific crime.
The writer is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, East West University , Bangladesh