Group backed by British to urge quicker action on kiddie porn

An international, non-governmental organization again is urging the legislature to toughen Costa Rica’s child pornography law.

The organization, Alianza por tus Derechos, submitted a proposed law to a subcommittee of the Asamblea Legislativa last year. The legislature has still not called up the bill for discussion.

If passed, the law will more clearly define what constitutes child pornography and enact stiffer penalties for making and viewing pornographic material featuring minors.

The bill was written by members of the alliance with help and funding from the British Embassy in San José.

A press release from the alliance said that Costa Rica has the weakest laws in Latin America with regards to child pornography.
The highest penalty for making pornographic material with minors is three years compared to 12 years for aggravated robbery, and only one of 10 violators are actually sent to prison, the release added.

To change this, alliance members wrote and submitted the bill to the government last year. President Laura Chinchilla and the security minister Mario Zamora said they supported the measure, and the bill went to a subcommittee in June 2011.

The alliance will hold a press conference today to urge the legislature to take quicker action on the bill.

According to the alliance’s Web site, the bill will penalize visual, oral and written texts that include minors in sexual situations.

This includes what the alliance calls “pseudo pornography” which it defines as images that are digitally created or altered to depict minors as well as drawings, cartoons and caricatures of an explicit nature.

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