JIS News

The House of Representatives on September 15, suspended debate on the Child Pornography Bill, to allow for further amendments, which members pointed out were necessary in making the legislation clear and effective.
Some of the issues include the protection of children’s identities, and clearer provisions as to what constitutes a just defence if an individual comes across or sees unsolicited child pornographic material, such as those sent through spam e-mails.
Piloting the Bill, Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding explained that, “while pornographic material involving children may be found in any medium, it is primarily images and other visual depictions, which have proven the most pervasive and problematic and which have been the focus of international concern.”
“What is not often immediately appreciated by its very nature is the record of a crime being committed against a child. Children who appear in such pictures are, at the time that the picture is being taken, being violated, subjected to degrading and humiliating acts of a criminal nature,” he added.
The Prime Minister pointed out that persons who distribute, access or possess this material are accomplices in these acts.
Child pornography is generally defined as images of a child (a person under the age of 18) or someone appearing to be a child, engaging in real or simulated explicit sexual activities; or any representation of the sexual parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes.
Mr. Golding argued that the Internet has made the production and worldwide distribution of vast amounts of pornographic material simple and inexpensive, which has in turn fueled greater production of child pornography. “The borderless nature of the Internet and its perceived anonymity has globalised this problem in ways that never existed before and has given these crimes a transnational character,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that Jamaican laws have not kept pace with these developments. “The danger to our children here in Jamaica has been illustrated here recently by many events. The video recording and distribution of an assault on a school girl by camera phone, is a notorious example of the threat which child pornography poses for our children. There is also reports of a thriving market for locally made videos of children performing explicit sexual acts, some of which were captured using cell phone cameras,” he told the House.
Mr. Golding noted that predatory paedophilia has also been closely linked to child pornography as these images are used to fuel the sexual fantasies of paedophiles. There is also a correlation between child pornography, and human trafficking, where children are trafficked, for the purpose of pornography, he said.
“The technology is going to change, and new ways of transmitting the material will be found, and therefore, the Bill is technology neutral and seeks to capture issues which arise in our digital environment that did not exist just a few years ago,” he said.
The type of material which is defined by the legislation as child pornography, is not limited to obscene pictures of children, and includes audio recordings and written material that advocate or account for sexual activities with a child.
“This definition encompasses not only the depiction of actual children, but also persons that are portrayed as, or presented as children.you can use cartoons, you can use animated computer generated images, and even where you use persons who are over 18 years of age, but they are used in a way to appear as if they are children under 18 years of age, that mischief would also be captured,” Mr. Golding explained.

Skip to content