Cameroonian laws prohibit the possession, sale or distribution of pornographic literature and other material. But at the beginning of this school year, pornography, illegal as it has always been, is taking over the streets of the nation's major cities.
The invasion has not yet taken scandalous proportions, but the interest shown by youths in their ability to quickly decipher locations where such literature and material exist, is a clear indication that we are not very far from such proportions. Street corners, especially where second-hand books and magazines are set out for sale, are places to easily find clusters of youths perusing such pornographic documents. They use passwords to disengage with the approach of the police or anyone likely to call them to order.
This situation has dire consequences. First of all, it is an illegal act which calls for firm action by the authorities. The fact that such law-bursting takes place virtually in the open air, tells of the laxity of those in charge of enforcing rules and regulations. On the other hand, it is a big blow to accepted norms and good conduct. For, interest in such practices sways away young students from their objective of attending school. In many cases, some of them are so taken up by this new and depraved attitude that they stay away from classes. Certainly, it is not with this kind of youth that the nation expects to attain its objective of being an emergent economy by 2035. It is not however a fatalistic situation because there are many avenues for lasting solutions to the situation.
It all begins at home where parents are supposed to bring up their siblings in an atmosphere where the fear of God and respect for the highest moral standards are inculcated into the children from the very early age. Since the child's life is not confined to the home, measures too must be taken to cleanse the school environment where children spend a lot of their time. Here, sex education should no longer be considered a taboo. On the contrary, issues related to sex and sexuality should be broken down for the easy understanding of children so as to remove the idea in their minds that accessing a pornographic film or production is an "exploit".
Also, those who propagate or diffuse such material should be regularly brought to book. Our nation is not a theocracy, but a careful management of these issues, without appearing to infringe on human rights, will rid our society of such ignoble images