Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Children's Advocate renews call for age of consent to be raised

Published:Tuesday | January 10, 2017 | 9:07 AM
Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison.

The Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison is renewing calls for Jamaica's age of consent to be raised from 16 to 18 to protect minors from what she calls "predatory relationships" with much older persons.

The debate over whether the age of consent should be raised reignited on social media amid the Moravian sex scandal involving a 64-year-old pastor now before the court for having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Gordon Harrison says this case is an example of a predatory relationship against which the laws should protect minors.


Children's Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison

In 2014 Gordon Harrison had argued before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament for the age of consent to be raised to 18, but her suggestion was not addressed as the committee went dormant afterwards.

Earlier this year, the Jamaica Labour Party Administration promised the committee would be reconvened amid a spike in violence against women and children.

Gordon Harrison says she will be pushing for the age of consent to be raised as soon as the committee reconvenes.


Children's Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison

The join select committee to review laws pertaining to violence against women and children will consider the Offences Against the Person Act, the Sexual Offences Act, the Child Care and Protection Act and the Domestic Violence Act.

It is to be chaired by Justice Minister Delroy Chuck.