Child pornography laws finally coming

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Jamaica currently has no law which specifically treats with, or recognises child pornography as a distinct criminal offence. However, following the tabling of the Child Pornography (Prevention) Bill in Parliament, by Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dorothy Lightbourne legislation will soon be in place to confront commercial sexual exploitation of children.

However, according to a JIS release, international efforts to combat child pornography have resulted in several conventions, including the 1999 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of Children.

The Bill provides for sentences of up to 20 years imprisonment, as well as fines of as much as $500,000.

Crimes include: visual presentations with children engaged in sexual activities; audio recordings or written material that has, as its dominant characteristic, the description, presentation or representation, for a sexual purpose, sexual activity with a child; and any visual representation, audio recording or written material that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a child.

The Bill describes sexual activities as : actual or simulated - sexual intercourse; activity, other than sexual intercourse involving the penetration of the anus, vagina or mouth with any part of a person's body, or the anus or vagina with anything else; touching a sexual organ or anal region in a manner which is reasonably considered as sexual; bestiality; masturbation; or sadistic or masochistic abuse.
Visual representation includes - produced images; undeveloped film; videotape; or data stored in electronic form capable of conversion into a visual image.