By Riana Ashley Ahamad
Because it is illegal to sell pornography to a minor, having snap shots of it on display is just as unlawful.
But many people, especially street side DVD vendors, are either oblivious to this, or blatantly choose to disregard the law.
Snap shots of porn are plastered on DVD casings and put on display along the pavements of Georgetown.
This is most prevalent under the Demico House building and the environs of the Stabroek Market.
Even though ranks from the Brickdam Police Station would always be patrolling the area, their presence does not stop DVD vendors from displaying the offensive material. .
I was annoyed at the fact that ranks stationed at the Brickdam Police Station were not aware that there is a law to deal with the exhibition of such images.
Apart from me calling the station to be told this, I even took the liberty of asking a few ranks on the streets about this law.
They were all sure that while selling porn to an underage person is an offence, “there is no legal framework to deal with this as a direct issue”.
Nonetheless, it was an official at the Office of the Police Public Relations Officer who outlined the offence as being “selling, publishing, or exhibiting obscene matters”, an act for which persons can be prosecuted.
According to the Child Pornography laws of Guyana, “There has been no particular offence of child pornography but, Section 350 of the Criminal Law Offenses Act regulates selling, publishing or exhibiting an obscene matter. The obscenity is when the matter is such as to deprive and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences and into whose hands publication of this sort may fall”.
A mother of two, of Eccles, East Bank Demerara had an experience with this type of exposure.
“I was with my daughter by Demico house having ice cream and since it was a Saturday, I took her to buy a Barbie DVD. And while I looking for
one that she didn’t see yet, she had a ‘blues’ DVD in she hand. The girl vagina was all over the cover.
“Now, my daughter is only seven years old, and when we go home she asking me about the girl on the DVD. I even caught her experimenting. And for me that is totally unacceptable. I agree that children getting mature faster nowadays, but that is no excuse! I can’t even explain to her what she saw. Her father and me get rid of them things because we didn’t want to influence them, and it’s not fair for them people to have them things exposed like that.”
Another parent, and a teacher of a nursery school in Berbice, said that “such exposure is prevalent in Berbice, and these vendors don’t understand how small things like these can influence a child.
Look, everyday, we have incidents with children wanting to play “boyfriend/girl friend” and touching each other inappropriately. And I agree that these things are inevitable and the world is maturing at a faster pace, but it is no excuse for exposing children to these things before they need to be,” the teacher said.
Apart from the bad influence it has on children; think from a tourism point of view. What are tourists going to think and say about our dear country when they see how much of a “free” place it is?
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