KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The Jamaica government says it will soon table legislation to protect children from people who use the Internet to molest them.
“We are going to put in some laws, because there are older people who prey on children online. We are going to make it a criminal offence, and we are going to put you in prison if you trouble the young (child), who should be in school,” said Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Phillip Paulwell.
He said that said with scores of children spending a significant amount time on the Internet doing school work, the authorities are moving to stamp out any plans by adults, as have been the case in many countries, to target school children.
We believe that in addition to restricting the content that we will allow them to be exposed to, we will have to dissuade adults who we have seen in other jurisdictions prey on young children. We are going to put in place new legislations that will impose severe penalties on these adults who do that.”
Paulwell said that under the pilot computer tablet project, some 20 schools will be provided with 30,000 tablets free of cost.
He said that at the end of the first year of the pilot project, there should be sufficient material and experience to recommend to the Cabinet, some significant penalties for people who are caught preying on children.
Paulwell said that the Portia Simpson Miller administration is investing in many computer access points (CAPs) across the island, to ensure that persons can have information, and be able to communicate globally at the lowest possible cost.
“We want Jamaica to become a part of the knowledge-based society, a world where information is king. It will enable us to be on the same level as youngsters in Japan, Korea, and North America. That is what we want for our children.
“We are going to ensure that you don’t need to buy books anymore; it will save you money, because we are going to pay the publishers the intellectual property rights for those books, so that we can have them on the tablets,” he added.