Review of Sexual Offences Act and Laws to Address Violence Against Women, Children, Elderly & Disabled

A Joint-Select Committee of Parliament was established in December, 2016 to complete a review of the Sexual Offences Act, and consider sections of other legislation aimed at protecting women, children, the disabled and the elderly from violence and abuse. JFJ will be participating closely in the review to ensure that a human rights approach to protecting persons from violence is integrated throughout the process. This space contains core information about the process, key resources, and recordings of Committee sessions. We will frequently update it.

Mandate of the Committee

As per the minutes of the House of Representatives and the Senate, its duties are:

  1. Complete the required statutory review of the Sexual Offences Act;

  2. Consider and review existing legislation which purport to, among other things, protect women, children, the disabled and the elderly from violence and abuse, being the Sexual Offences Act, the Offences Against the Person Act, the Domestic Violence Act and the Child Care and Protection Act, with particular emphasis on the offences and punishment under these legislation with regard to: a) The murder of pregnant women; b) The assault of women, children and the elderly; c) Sexual offences against women, children and the elderly; d) Such other violent crimes against women, children, the disabled and the elderly as may be deemed to be necessary for the review.

  3. To make recommendations for legislative amendment, not restricted to the stated legislation under review, for the better administration of justice and the effective protection of these special groups, as the Committee deems necessary.

The Committee may also include a review of the Sexual Offences (Registration of Sex Offenders) Regulations

Members of the Committee:

  • Honourable Delroy Chuck (Chairman)
  • Honourable Olivia Grange
  • Honourable Floyd Green
  • Mrs. Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert
  • Dr. Lynvale Bloomfield
  • Ms. Lisa Hanna
  • Ms. Denise Daley
  • Sen. the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith
  • Sen. Ransford Braham
  • Sen. Saphire Longmore
  • Sen. Mark Golding
  • Sen. Sophia Frazer-Binns

Submissions

Submissions from government offices, international agencies, civil society, and the public at large on various areas of the laws are linked below.

  1. The Office of the Children’s Advocate
  2. The Child Development Agency: Updated Submission (2014) & Original Submission (2014)
  3. The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA)
  4. The Ministry of National Security
  5. The Bureau of Gender Affairs
  6. The Jamaica Council for Persons With Disabilities
  7. The Family Planning Association (FAMPLAN)
  8. The Jamaica Community of Positive Women (JCW+)
  9. The United Nations in Jamaica
  10. Leanne Levers
  11. Voices for Equal Rights and Justice: Original Submission (2014) & Supplemental Submission (2017)
  12. The Norman Manley Law School
  13. Sistren Theatre Collective (with private endorsements)
  14. Equality for All Group (J-FLAG, WE-Change, TransWave)
  15. The Love March Movement
  16. The Jamaica Coalition for a “Healthy Society”
  17. Jamaica Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism (Jamaica LANDS)

Recordings of Committee Sessions:

  1. Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017
  2. Wednesday, May 9, 2017
  3. Wednesday, May 25, 2017

Procedural Documents

  1. Motion from the House of Representatives – December 6, 2016
  2. Motion from the Senate – December 16, 2016