What Does Ghana’s Law Say About Pornography?
In this 21st Century Digital World, pornography has become an everyday thing for most people; with over 100 million persons visiting these adult sites to view pornographic contents all over the world.
Though pornography in Africa is not as high as it is in other Western countries, the pornographic industry in Africa has begun to follow Western culture and is gradually growing.
Just like other countries in the world, Ghana also has its own pornographic content creators who create pornographic content in remote locations. But, do you know why most of the websites and creators of these sexually explicit contents hide their identities?
Most people have no idea about what the laws of Ghana say about pornography and its related sexually explicit contents. In my quest to know more about what the constitution says about this, I decided to do a little research.
After doing my research, I found out that there are several laws that talk about pornography in Ghana, most (if not all) of which I had never heard before. This article is going to reveal the findings of my research and a brief explanation of each law.
Disclaimer: The laws in this article are from the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. But, the explanations are my personal explanation based on what I’ve read and asked from others. This article is not meant to be legal advise.
What Does Ghana’s Law Say About Pornography?
Criminal Offence Act, 1960 (Act 20)
Section 101A – Definition of Sexual Exploitation
1. Sexual exploitation is the use of a person for sexual activity that causes serious physical and emotional injury or in the form of prostitution or pornography.
2. A person who sexually exploits
a. Another person other than a child commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five (5) years and not more than 25 years.
b. Another person who is a child commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five (5) years and not more than 25 years.
The brief explanation of this law is that any person who sexually exploits a person either a child (under 18 years) or an adult (over 18 years), commits a criminal offence and will serve a jail term of not less than five (5) years and not more than twenty-five (25) years.
So what is the connection between sexual exploitation and pornography?
The connection between sexual exploitation and pornography is very clear and simple. Most of the people who act pornography does it because of the money. Therefore they are exploited by exchanging sex and privacy for money and any person who does that is a criminal.
Electronic Transactions Act, 2008 (Act 772)
Section 136 – Child Pornography
1. A person who intentionally does any of the following acts:
a. Publishes child pornography through a computer;
b. Produces or procures child pornography for the purpose of its publication through a computer system; OR
c. Possesses child pornography in a computer or electronic record storage medium, commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than 25 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years or both.
In this context, a child refers to a person who is less than 18 years and child porn also refers to a material that depicts a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Therefore, any person who publishes, or procures child porn is also a criminal and is punishable by law.
What is the Connection Between Child Porn and Pornography?
Most of the pornographic materials that are put on display consist of under aged girls or boys. For example, the video that trended over the internet of a schoolgirl and her teacher was a clear example of child porn. Therefore, they are all categorized under pornography.
Development and Classification of Film Act, 2016 (Act 935)
Section 20 – Pornographic films
The Board shall not approve for exhibition a film which it considers to be pornographic.
Section 28 – Forfeiture of Equipment
1. Where a person … (b). exhibits a pornographic film, the Board shall seize the film and the equipment used for exhibition without limiting criminal proceedings that may be instituted against the exhibitor and apply to the High Court for forfeiture to the State of both the film and the equipment.
2. A seizure of the film and equipment is not a bar to any criminal proceedings that may be instituted against the exhibitor.
In Ghana, movies are submitted to a board for review before it is published. Any movie that is seen as a pornographic movie will not be allowed to be published. Therefore, if a person exhibits any pornographic movie and is caught, he/she will be arrested and be brought to justice.
In conclusion, per my research findings, pornography and anything related to it in Ghana is illegal and therefore, anyone who goes against these laws when caught will be penalized severely in the court of law.
Therefore, I urge everyone to take note of these laws and try their maximum best to abide by them so that we can all live peacefully in Ghana.