Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (196)

John Deasy

Question:

315 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he has satisfied himself with the definition of sexual exploitations as contained in the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998; if he has further satisfied himself that, as drafted, it encompasses all inappropriate sexual behaviour involving children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2530/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

Section 3 of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 makes it an offence to organise or knowingly facilitate the entry into, transit through or exit from Ireland of a child for the purpose of the child's sexual exploitation. It also makes it an offence to take, detain or restrict the personal liberty of a child for the purpose of his or her sexual exploitation or to organise or knowingly facilitate such taking, detaining or restricting.

The maximum penalty on conviction on indictment for trafficking a child for the purpose of his or her sexual exploitation is life imprisonment and for the taking, detaining or restricting the personal liberty of a child or organising such taking, detaining or restricting is 14 years' imprisonment.

"Sexual exploitation" is defined primarily for the purpose of section 3 of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 to mean inducing or coercing a child to engage in prostitution or the production of child pornography, using a child for prostitution or the production of child pornography, inducing or coercing a child to participate in any sexual activity which is an offence under any enactment, or the commission of any such offence against a child. However, the definition is applicable also for the purpose of one specific part of the definition of child pornography in section 2 of the 1998 Act, i.e. subsection (1)(d) which states that child pornography means any visual representation or description of, or information relating to, a child that indicates or implies that the child is available to be used for the purpose of sexual exploitation as defined in section 3(3). I am, therefore, satisfied that all inappropriate sexual behaviour involving children which constitutes an offence under section 3 or the relevant part of the definition of child pornography in section 2 of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 is encompassed by the definition of sexual exploitation as defined in section 3(3).