A draft bill penalizing possession of child pornography was submitted to the Argentine Congress.

Recently, Senators Juan Manuel Abal Medina and Julio Cobos filed a draft bill which would amend the Argentine Criminal Code and make the possession of child pornography a criminal offense (the “Draft Bill”).

Currently, Section 128 of the Argentine Criminal Code punishes the production and distribution of child pornography. It only punishes the possession of child pornography when there is an unequivocal intent to distribute or market it. The Draft Bill would amend Section 128 of the Criminal Code, making the possession of child pornography punishable regardless of intent.

The preamble of the Draft Bill makes reference to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as the Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe, both of which punish the possession of child pornography itself.

On the other hand, in addition to punishing the possession of child pornography, the Draft Bill also raises the penalties set by Section 128 of the Criminal Code for those who produce or distribute it (the sanction  increases from 2 to 6 years of prison). It also punishes providing pornographic material to individuals under the age of 18, instead of 14, and increases the penalty for this crime (from 6 months to 3 years of prison). 

The Draft Bill touches upon a matter that has already been discussed at length in Argentina, particularly in the context of the impact of new technologies in the increase in the production and the demand for child pornography. It proposes a modification which would further protect the rights of minors in the digital era as well as reinforcing the fight against cybercrime.