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Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Trinidad and Tobago Prostitution

Q: Are there any laws in T&T against prostitution?

A: Of course! Prostitution (women only) is illegal under 46(j) of the Summary Offences Act 1921, as amended.

The Sexual Offences Act - Chapter 1986, as amended also makes selling and buying any sex service illegal in Trinidad and Tobago.

A prostitute can serve 5 years if caught soliciting sex and there is a stiffer sentence of 15 years for the person obtaining the service.

Owning or knowingly leasing property to establish a brothel is also illegal under Section 22 and can bring a 5 year sentence, but they still remain open with the occasional police raid.

These places allow the human trafficking trade to flourish because many of the prostitutes in the clubs are illegal South Americans and Guyanese who are victims of the sex trade. When they get arrested, some are deported, but many are released because a person cannot be deported without a passport.

With the reputation of the T&T Police Service, I'm sure bribery has a lot to do with strip clubs and brothels remaining open.

Click here for a map and list of the legal status of prostitution around the world.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Compensation for injuries/death

Q: My family and I got into a car accident around Carnival time and my sister was badly injured. She recently succumbed to her injuries. Can I sue the driver who caused the accident?

A: Firstly, my condolences. If you can find him, the Compensation for Injuries Act - Chapter 8:05 is the legislation that you can use to recover damages. According to Section 3, any death caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default is subject to compensation and can also result in arrest of the wrongdoer.

To bring such a case, if the person left a will, the executor/executrix has six months to file a claim. If there is no claim filed in six months, then the recognised dependants (grandparent, parent, spouse, child or sibling) may bring a case at the same time. There cannot be more than one action brought before the court, so each individual cannot file his/her own case.

To file this case, you will have to visit one of the High Courts in Trinidad and Tobago. You must know who the person is and how to find him because the court does not do any detective work.