Cabinet has given approval for the newly amended Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) Act, (TIP ACT) to be tabled in the Houses of Parliament.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, made the disclosure at the weekly Jamaica House press briefing on Wednesday, May 22.
She noted that the TIP Act was enacted in 2007 to prescribe penalties and combat trafficking in persons. Section four of the Act criminalises trafficking, the facilitation of trafficking or receiving financial or other benefits from trafficking.
The Information Minister said the amendments will increase the penalty for the offence of trafficking in persons and make new provisions for similar offences.
“The current penalty for these crimes is a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. This will be increased to a term not exceeding 20 years or to both such fine and imprisonment,” Minister Falconer informed.
She added that the new provision recognises that trafficking may also involve other offences connected to trafficking such as assault, carnal abuse, rape, child pornography, forced labour and forced begging.
“There were no specific provisions for these additional offences, and when they occurred, the practice had been to prosecute them as separate offences under existing laws. With the amendments, the court will impose on a person convicted of a trafficking offence an additional 10 years if there are aggravating factors,” she explained.
Contact: Andrea Braham