Jamaican News

Age Of Consent 16, Under Pressure?

July 13, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |

Have Sex At later Age, 18

If certain Senators are to have their way, they are proposing to have the age of consent move up to 18. There was an intense discussion that led to a vote at the Joint Select Committee examining the Sexual Offences Bill. Despite some of the members of the Senate being part of the Joint Select Committee, at the Senate today there were those who wanted to reverse that decision to stay the course at age 16 for sexual consent to be increased to 18. Powerful forces want to discard that decision.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith

During committee meetings at the Joint Select Committee level there had been a long discussion about increasing the age of consent to 18. Proponents argue that if you can vote at 18 and get a driver’s licence at 18 then the age of consent should be brought up to 18. It is now at 16.

Senator Kamina J. Smith said:

“There was deep and robust discussion on the age of consent at the Joint Select Committee. There was a vote … it was the only point that was voted on. The majority voted to retain the age of 16.”

Declared Senator Johnson Smith as she presented the report on the Joint Select Committee in the Senate, Friday 10th July 2020.

Senator Frazer Binns, a lawyer called for more public education on this new legislation.

Who is a child?

Under The Child Protection Act a youngster is defined as a child up to 18. Yet at 16 a child can start a family. As they are legally allowed to engage in Sexual intercourse. This is why some Senators want the age of consent to go up to 18.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior National & International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper.

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