Cabinet has approved a proposal to amend the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) Act, to increase the penalties for breaches of that law.
Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, explains that the law, which was enacted in 2007, had no specific provisions to deal with other offences related to trafficking, such as assault, carnal abuse, rape, child pornography, forced begging and forced labour.
"When these offences were committed in the past, along with human trafficking, the practice was to prosecute these as separate offences under existing laws, such as the Offences Against the Persons Act, or the Sexual Offences Act," she noted, at the Jamaica House press briefing, February 21.
Drafting instructions are to be issued to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.
The legislation provides for the prevention of human trafficking, especially of women and girls, and punish those involved in such acts.
Meanwhile, Cabinet approved the sale of lands at Heathfield in Racecourse, Clarendon by the Sugar Corporation of Jamaica Holdings Limited Company, to Hanif Brown, for $4 million.
Mr. Brown, a farmer, and his family has occupied the five acres of land since the 1970s.
Cabinet has also given the nod for the sale of lands to the Diocese of Montego Bay for $2.6 million. The 3.1 acres of land is located at Grange Hill, Westmoreland, where the St. Mark's Catholic Church has been leasing the premises for the past 39 years.