Legislation

The Government of Bermuda, through the Ministry of Education and Economic Development, Department of E-Commerce and the Child Protection Task Force, worked together to develop and enact legislation that protects Bermuda’s children from online predators and abuse.

The result of their efforts is the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2007. The Act makes it a crime to attempt to lure or exploit children online as well as to use electronic devices of any kind to access, view or distribute child abusive material or child pornography. The Act is just a first step.

Electronic Transaction Act 1999

Criminal Code Amendment Act 2007

Electronic Transaction Act 2011

 

Saltus Video

The idea for this legislation was originally raised in the 2003 Green Paper on E-Business and was a direct response to the role technology and the Internet play in the proliferation of crimes against children. The exploitation of children for sexual purposes has been a global problem for many years. The Internet, whilst being a tremendous tool for education and business, has also become the most significant factor in the sexual exploitation of children and the principal means for exchanging Child Pornography.

The growth of information technology has transformed the production of child pornography into a sophisticated yet easy to accomplish global industry. Technology has made it easy for anyone to produce and distribute child pornography from their home. Anyone with access to children, a digital camera and a home computer with an Internet link can be in business in short order.

This new technology and the problems it presents defy comparison with all other means of communication. With the new demand, comes an increase in supply. Human Rights Watch has estimated that there are a million child prostitutes in India alone. It has also been estimated that there are 800,000 child prostitutes in Thailand and between 100,000 and 300,000 in the United States. UNICEF states that conservative estimates place the number of child prostitutes exploited for pornography worldwide to be approximately two million, and that another million boys and girls throughout the world are forced into the sex trade every year.

Child pornography is a worldwide problem and it is prudent to have the mechanism in place to ensure that the Director of Public Prosecutions has the ability to successfully prosecute criminals locally. This legislation will also enable Bermuda to act on information provided by international law enforcement agencies as we assist other jurisdictions in the eradication of these abuses.

The Internet has been responsible for the exponential growth of this material on a global basis. While the original intent for this legislation was to focus on the online environment, it was decided to enlarge the focus and include offences relating to child pornography in its larger context and not just in the online environment.

Yes. The definition for materials is very wide and includes all types of visual images, written material as well as audio recordings. It should also be noted that it includes representations of children (i.e. drawings; three dimensional images; adults dressed as children; adult bodies with faces of children superimposed etc.). The children (or their representations) do not actually have to be actually involved in the 'acts' but merely have to "appear to be" so involved.

Under the age of sixteen years.

The offences are:

Section

Offence

S182C

Showing child abusive material, child pornography or offensive material to a child.This section is very broad, as ‘offensive material’ is defined to include material that depicts violence, drug misuse, cruelty or ‘abhorrent phenomena’. It is known as the “grooming” offence as it has been drafted to cover all those acts that child predators are known to employ when de-sensitizing a child in anticipation of their committing an abusive act.

S182D

Use of children in the production of child abusive material or child pornography.If you have custody, charge or care of a child and allow them to be used in the production of child abusive material or child pornography you will have committed an offence.

S182E

LuringIf you use any form of communications device to communicate with a child for the purpose of committing any of the acts listed below, you will have committed an offence:

  • S177(1) – Unnatural offences and attempts to commit unnatural offences
  • S180 – Carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 14 years of age; attempts; alternative convictions of other offences
  • S181(1) – Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl between 14 and 16 years of age; attempts
  • S182A(1) – Sexual exploitation of a young person (14 years of age)
  • S182B(1) – Sexual exploitation of a young person by a person in a position of trust
  • S184(1) – Procuration ; attempts (woman or girl)
  • S185(1) – Procuring unlawful carnal connection of woman or girl by threats or fraud of by administering drugs; attempts
  • S187(1) – Exercising control of woman or girl with a view to her prostitution
  • S188(1) – Abduction of girl under eighteen with intent to have carnal knowledge
  • S189 – Conspiring to induce permission to have carnal knowledge

S182F<

Making, distributing, etc. of child abusive material or child pornographyThis includes importing or exporting material

S182G

Possession of child abusive material or child pornographyHere possession is limited to possession for the purpose of making it available to, showing it to, or for viewing by other persons

S182H

Accessing child abusive material or child pornographyYou must knowingly access the material

S182J

Offence by Director and OfficerOffence by body corporateIf a S182F or S182G offence is committed by a body corporate and this was done with the acquiescence, consent or connivance of a director etc., that person and the company are guilty of offences

The sentences in the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2007 are in keeping with sentences for sexual offences involving minors in the general Criminal Code (as recently amended by amendments to the Criminal Code, 2006). The penalties are:

Section

Offence

Summary
Imprisonment / Fine

Indictment
Imprisonment / Fine

S182C

Showing child abusive material, child pornography or offensive material to a child

5

10

S182D

Use of children in the production of child abusive material or child pornography

5

10

S182E

Luring

5

10

S182F

Making, distributing, etc. of child abusive material or child pornography

5

10

S182G

Possession of child abusive material or child pornography

3

5

S182H

Accessing child abusive material or child pornography

5

10

S182J

Offence by Director and Officer
Offence by body corporate

5

$20,000

10

$1,000,000

The present legislation makes it a crime to possess child pornography with the intention of circulating the images, whether for profit or not.

The legislation requires that you “knowingly” access child abusive material or child pornography. This is a question of the individual’s state of mind. Anyone who sees such material should recognize that they are witnessing a crime scene and if appropriate, action should be taken to report this to the relevant authorities.
No. But if you discover such material on any computer that you have bought you should immediately report this to law enforcement. Failure to do so may give rise to an offence.

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