Children’s Authority reminds it’s an Offence to share sexual images of Children

The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is again appealing to the public to refrain from sharing inappropriate images and videos of children via social media and other platforms.

The Authority advises that it is an offence, according to the Children Authority Act, 2012, to obtain, publish, distribute or purchase images of children engaging in explicit sexual activity or conduct.

The Authority notes with concern recent images of a child displaying sexual behaviour followed by a video of the child being severely beaten for his actions. There is also another video of a man violently slapping a young girl.

The Authority strongly discourages parents and guardians from using corporal punishment, as it does not lead to true behaviour change and can be harmful to a child’s development. Instead, adults should find more creative and effective ways of disciplining children so they learn what is appropriate behaviour. The Authority recognises that parents and guardians are under extreme stress at this time and they should seek to develop trusted and responsible support networks, to help them provide the best possible care and protection for their children.

"Child Protection is Everybody's Business" and the Authority is appealing to families to step in and provide support, rather than record and post images of children who have been neglected or are being punished.

Since children continue to be at home for an extended period, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Authority is encouraging parents and guardians to keep an open line of communication with their children. They should also have age-appropriate discussions with their children about sex; ok and not ok touches; and the need to maintain personal boundaries.

The public is reminded that if they have any concerns or suspicions about a child's safety, they should make a report to the Authority’s Hotline at 996 or the Police at 999.

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