The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) has backed the proposal by Garissa Township MP Aden Duale seeking to have pornographic content banned within the Kenyan territory.

In a statement on Tuesday, COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli noted that banning access to pornographic content will go a long way in protecting children from inappropriate content.

He further noted that if adopted, the proposal will help reduce cases of unethical behavior being reported at workplaces.

“The proposed law, as captured by our local dailies, seeks to amend the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act to introduce harsh penalties for any violation of the same. Foremost, it must be noted that this is an issue of public health concern and not freedom of speech and or access to information as provided in the Bill of Rights in the 2010 Constitution of Kenya because the production and promotion of pornographic materials have an impact on not just the social well-being of the youth, workers and society at large but also sexual health.

“…Because we should, at all times, be concerned about the future generation, this censorship will go a long way in protecting our children who are currently being exposed to pornographic content whilst on the internet. Over and above this, the Bill will address the now common menace among our children that has been escalated by pedophiles,” Atwoli said in a statement on Monday.

If the Bill is approved by Parliament, people sharing pornographic materials will be jailed for at least 25 years or face a fine of Sh20 million.

“A person shall not knowingly publish pornography through a computer system produced pornography for its publication through a computer system, download, distribute, circulate cell, or make it available in any way for telecommunications operators,” the bill reads.

This will be the first major step towards combating pornographic content in the country.