Disturbing trend: Girls making, distributing porn in Trinidad

CONCERNED: Permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Johnson, speaks at the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights, Equality and Diversity at the ANR Robinson Room, Parliament Building yesterday.

(Trinidad Newsday) Girls are making and distributing child pornography videos in Trinidad & Tobago.

This was disclosed yesterday at a public hearing of Parliament’s Human Rights, Equality and Diversity Joint Select Committee (JSC).

Chairman Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said child prostitution and pornography is affecting our society, but this fact is largely unknown. She added, “It is not filtering up into the levels where it needs to be addressed.”

Of 69 child pornography reports received by the Education Ministry over the last five years, Gadsby-Dolly said, “We had 67 per cent of the 69 cases being girls involved in child pornography.”

Of this 67 per cent, Gadsby-Dolly said 72 per cent were “self-inflicted” – meaning the girls created and distributed the material themselves.

Gadsby-Dolly said it has become common for “our young ladies” to “take either nude pictures of themselves or videos of themselves engaging in sexual activity, sometimes with multiple partners, and distribute that themselves.” They either distribute this material directly or send it to other people who distribute it.”

Gadsby-Dolly added, “Those are the ones we catch.”

Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Jacqueline Johnson said it is illegal to make and distribute pornography.

She agreed with Gadsby-Dolly that child pornography and prostitution are being under-reported in Trinidad & Tobago. Data available to the OPM shows “this is a major problem” and that “the sexual thing is taking place in the schools.”

Johnson said, “One of the things that we have recognised is that our children are very hypersexual” and the Children’s Authority is doing research this year to “treat with that whole hypersexuality of our children.”

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Harold Phillip said no child has been charged with child pornography or prostitution in Trinidad & Tobago. Section 43(1) of the Children Act says a child under 16 is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $20,000 and four years in jail. On conviction on indictment, they will be imprisoned for five years. Children over 16 face a fine of $20,000 and imprisonment of four years on summary conviction. On conviction on indictment, they could be jailed for 15 years.

The police have received nine reports of child pornography over the last five years and Phillip said there are three reports of child pornography videos before the court.

He was not aware of any children being trafficked into Trinidad & Tobago for pornography and prostitution, but said work by the Counter Trafficking Unit resulted in a Venezuelan being charged with sexual exploitation.

Victim and Witness Support Unit manager Aisha Corbie-Price said many children involved in pornography or prostitution have a history of “some other adverse childhood experience,” and their trauma must be addressed “in a timely manner so they can get more healthier options to cope.”

Around the Web

Comments