The minister with responsibility for Information in the office of the Prime Minister, Senator Sandrea Falconer, recently stated her intention to raise the age of consent from 16 to 18. What we need, indeed Minister, is a raise in the age of consent.
It is both an honour and a privilege to propose the moot, "The age of consent should be raised from 16 to 18". I want you to keep an open mind I take on a journey on my quest to convince you that raising the age of consent from 16 to 18, is not only a splendid idea, but also a necessity In our beautiful island of Jamaica.
According to the Merriam Webster's Dictionary, the age at which one is legally competent to give consent especially to marriage or to sexual intercourse Over the world, the age of consent ranges from as low as 12 to 21 years, and in some countries, you have to be married. The age of consent in Jamaica is 16, after reviewing Section 10, subsection 1 of the Sexual offences act which states a person who has sexual intercourse with another person the age of sixteen years is said to have committed an offence. Our moot today, is saying that instead of 16, one would not have the legal right to agree to sex, until one is 18.
My position today will be supported by five checkpoints:
•Checkpoint 1: There is inconsistency in the Jamaican laws, where consent for different adult activities are at different ages.
•Checkpoint 2: The Government needs to serve its role, by protecting our children from exploitation and abuse.
•Checkpoint 3: Young people under the age of 18, are not socially, psychologically nor biologically prepared to cope with sex and its many possible consequences.
Checkpoint 4: Youngsters will be discouraged from sex, hence HIV and STI transmissions will be greatly reduced.
•Checkpoint 5: Raising the age of consent will help to control or reduce the country's high rate of teenage pregnancy.
Buckle up everyone, I take you on our journey, I am confident that you too will be...