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Opposition Senator calls for changes to Offences against the Person Act

Published:Monday | September 16, 2013 | 9:29 AM

Opposition Senator Kamina Johnson Smith has repeated calls for the establishment of a Joint Select Committee to consider and recommend amendments to the Offences against the Persons Act, the Sexual Offences Act and The Childcare and Protection Act.



The opposition Senator had moved the motion in February and opened the debate on the issue on Friday.



She wants those Acts to define, redefine or augment offences and punishments to be applied to the murder of pregnant women and other forms of violence committed against women and children.



In the meantime, Senator Johnson-Smith also wants the government to consider the implementation of a legal system to monitor persons deported to Jamaica for sexual offences.



Speaking in the Senate on Friday, Mrs Johnson Smith noted that between 2008 and 2012, 244 persons were deported to Jamaica for sex crimes.



She is recommending that a monitoring mechanism be included for those deportees as part of the Sex Offences Registry.



"I'm not saying that there is necessarily a link between the number of rapes, the number of sexual offences," said Smith. "But the number is sufficiently frightening to consider that these persons have offended overseas are likely on a register overseas but they return to Jamaica and as far as I understand are not monitored beyond their initial exchange of information on their deportation."



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