ERAO SVG is shocked and horrified at recent reports in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ("SVG") concerning a pornographic video being circulated that allegedly depicts a minor performing oral sex on her father.
According to these reports, the alleged perpetrator of this despicable act has been arrested and charged by the police with two counts of indecent assault.
These reports remind us of the high prevalence of child sexual abuse in SVG. Perpetrators of child sexual abuse are usually persons known to the victim and this form of abuse can have a devastating physical, mental, and/or emotional impact on victims for years or a lifetime.
These reports also continue to expose the inadequacies of the legal system in SVG to effectively tackle various forms of child sexual abuse. Amongst them, oral and anal penetration are disturbingly not included in the definition of rape and rape is not recognized as a gender neutral offence under SVG’s Criminal Code.
ERAO SVG strongly condemns all forms of child sexual abuse, violence and exploitation in SVG. Children are vulnerable groups in Vincentian society who deserve to be protected, not abused, and exploited.
We call upon all persons circulating the alleged pornographic video involving the minor to immediately desist from doing so. ERAO SVG also reminds the State that it has an obligation to protect and fulfill human rights in SVG’s domestic legal framework. We therefore call upon the Government of SVG to quickly review AND enact better laws to deal with perpetrators who commit heinous sexual crimes against minors in line with recognized international human rights standards.
ERAO SVG is dedicated to promoting equality and non-discrimination in SVG. Child sexual abuse violates persons inherent dignity and right to equality. Let us all work together to end child sexual abuse in SVG!By Jeshua Bardoo, President of ERAO SVG.