Friday 3 July, 2020

Sharing photos of sex trafficking victims an offence, police warn

Police are warning the public against sharing and circulating images and videos of minors, victims of sexual offences or human trafficking.

The warning follows a major human trafficking bust on Wednesday in which 19 South American girls were rescued.

The public was reminded of Section 34 (1) of the Trafficking in Persons Act Chapter 12:10 which states “To in any way cause the identity of a victim of human trafficking to be revealed, constitutes an offence.”

Section 34 (3) of the Act also states; “A person who commits a breach of confidentiality under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars.”

Further, the Sexual Offences Act Chapter 11:28, Section 32 (1) states that; “no matter likely to lead members of the public to identify a person as the complainant in relation to that accusation shall either be published in Trinidad and Tobago in a written publication available to the public or be broadcast in Trinidad and Tobago”.

Section 32 (2) of the Act also states; “A person who publishes or broadcasts any matter contrary to subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars and to imprisonment for five years.”

The Children’s Act Chapter 46:01, Section 81: Juvenile Court and its proceedings states that “No person shall publish the name, address, photograph or Community Residence where the child is placed or anything likely to lead to the identification of the child before the Court, save with the permission of the Court or in so far as required by this Act.”

Anyone in breach of subsection (6) is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $50,000.

The police further cautioned that the origin of the offending material is of no consequence.

“Should a member of the public come into possession of such material, this must to be brought to the attention of the police, for the initiation of an appropriate investigation,” the police said.

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