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GRENADA- Civil society group wants reinstatement of repealed sections of the Ecrimes Bill

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Dec 21, CMC – The Committee of Social Partners (CSP), an umbrella grouping of civil society organizations, is calling on the Grenada government to reconsider reintroducing sections of the Electronics Crimes Act as it moves to deal with the publication of sexually explicit material on the internet.

The CSP said it wants the sections of the legislation that were repealed, reintroduced in an effort to address the influx of sexually explicit videos, which in most instances have featured teenagers, in school uniforms, circulating on the various social media platforms, including Facebook.

“They think that much of it has to do with the highly explicit lyrics of songs and portrayals in music videos that seem to have become ‘an acceptable norm’ in society and believe that decisive actions to be taken in putting an end to this current “craze,” the CSP said in  a statement.”, said a news release from the Partners.

 grenada-flagg“The CSP agreed that the time is now critical for Government to revisit the Electronic Crimes Act, and have the relevant clauses that were removed entered into force, so that perpetrators can be appropriately penalized,” said the CSP that comprises representatives from the private sector, labour unions, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), the Conference of Churches in Grenada (CCG); the Association of Evangelical Churches (AEC) and government.

The statement also identified the need for responsible, healthy, sex education, counseling, parenting and self-esteem building exercises in the schools and called for the establishment of a National Censorship Board to address lyrics and visual content.

It said it was also encouraging parents to speak to their children and get them involved in constructive after-school activities and to develop a system that will allow them as parents, to keep “tabs” on their children as much as possible.

The Electronic Crimes Act, which was approved by the Houses of Parliament in mid-2013, provided stiff penalties for persons found guilty of using electronic systems to promoted child pornography, stalking and sending offensive messages.

However, three sections were repealed as legislators felt they would have a negative impact on freedom of the press.

Among the sections repealed was Section 6 which provided for a one year jail term for sending by electronic means any information that is “grossly offensive” or known to be false but reproduced in order to cause “annoyance”, “insult” or “ill will”.

Section 16 punished “electronic stalking” defining it as “intimidating, coercing, or annoying another person using an electronic system” and provided for a three year jail term for anyone convicted under the law.

  • Countries: Grenada