Thailand’s child porn penalties set to intensify

Bangkok, Sep 14 (IANS) The Thai government is set to introduce a stricter law carrying longer prison terms against anyone possessing or distributing pornographic material of children under the age of 18, starting in December, the media reported on Monday.

A section of the Criminal Code governing possession, distribution and benefits derived from such pornography has been amended to allow for tougher prosecution of offenders, said Sarawut Benjakul, secretary-general of the Institute of Legal Education, Thai Bar Association.

The amendment follows Thailand’s signing of the International Convention on Children’s Rights, the Bangkok Post reported.

The materials comprise objects or visual displays, both static and in motion, of sexual acts involving children and people under 18. The displays in question also include portraits and drawings, and files kept in electronic devices, mobile phones and computers.

Those who possess pornography showing underaged individuals for personal entertainment purposes are liable for a jail term of up to five years and/or a maximum fine of 100,000 baht ($2,774).

Forwarding the materials to others is punishable by a jail term of up to seven years and/or a maximum fine of 140,000 baht. Anyone who possesses, distributes or imports the materials with the intent to commercially benefit from the pornography could face 3-10 years imprisonment and a fine of between 60,000-200,000 baht.

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