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Cabinet has given approval for a Bill entitled, the Child Pornography (Prevention) Act 2009, to be tabled in Parliament.
This was disclosed recently by Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, at a post Cabinet press briefing, held at Jamaica House.
She explained that the Bill seeks to specifically recognise and treat child pornography as a criminal offence in Jamaica, and to prohibit the production, importation, exportation, and distribution of child pornography, and the use of children for child pornography.
“There has been an increase in the sexual exploitation of children, and more so by the use of technology. It is common knowledge now that there are pictures of children involved in sexual acts on your cell phones, and on the internet,” Senator Lightbourne said.
“This type of Bill is worldwide and we are catching up now. Of course, there is no law in Jamaica that deals specifically with child pornography and the trend globally now, is to treat child pornography as a separate crime, and this is what the Bill seeks to do,” she added.
Senator Lightbourne noted that for the first time, there would be a definition of child pornography, which encompasses any visual representation of a child or a person depicted as a child engaging in real or simulated sexual activity.
“It also refers to any representation, in picture or in words, for sexual purposes, the sexual organs of a child. Also, it can be audio recordings, anything that advocates using children for sexual activities, and the visual representation can be electronically and mechanically produced. Undeveloped film will be covered, video tape, data stored in an electronic form, all this is caught by the Bill,” she added.
The Bill also covers grooming, which is encouraging a child to be used for the production of child pornography.
“Interestingly enough, also covered by this Bill is accessing child pornography. The Bill will protect you if you come upon child pornography on the internet and you take steps to do something about it. So, persons are liable if you are surfing the net and you come upon it and don’t report it. You have a responsibility to report it,” the Minister warned.
She pointed out that although 16 is the age of sexual consent in Jamaica, for the Bill, a child would be described as anyone under 18 years old.

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