Communications Ministry is pushing for a Bill which when approved by Parliament, will make it illegal to circulate sexually explicit materials involving children.
The draft Cyber Security Bill, according to sector Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, will deal with the gaps in the current legal provisions in addressing online activities involving children.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said the Children’s Act, (Act 560), criminalises sexual offences by adults against children under the age of 16 years and has empowered the Police Service to deal with same.
But it is the circulation of these images on social media platforms that falls outside the purview of the existing legislation, which the Minister said the new Bill seeks to address.
Recently, a video went viral on which a man was captured defiling a child believed to be 13 years. The said video is believed to have been shot in an uncompleted building at an unknown location in the Central Region.
Two men, Abraham Mensah and Desmond Asmah who chanced upon the incident, forced the 18-year-old suspect, Emmanuel Quayson, to continue the act while Desmond Asmah reportedly filmed it.
The case has been sent to court in Cape Coast, and currently, all the three suspects have been granted bail,” a spokesperson for the Central Region Police Command, DSP Irene Oppong is reported to have said.
Speaking to Joy News Ernest Kojo Manu, at the launch of a workshop for heads of the security agencies on the draft Cyber Security Bill on Friday, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful who expressed shock at the incident, described the circulation of the video as “unacceptable”, “wrong” and “illegal”.
“You can’t do that…If you do receive data or images or posts which are of a pornographic nature involving children, don’t share it delete it from your device…so that we will protect the images of our children who are caught in these kinds of scenarios,” she advised.
The Cyber Security Bill, she said when passed into law, “will deal with whoever is caught in a harsh manner.”
She said, her Ministry will soon roll out a series of public education activities on the new law to sensitise the public on such incidents prior to its enforcement.