Advancing Cyberbullying Amendments to Belize’s Criminal Code
Technological and digital advances across the world have resulted in more persons having access to phones, computers, and the internet.
The age of technology has brought with it many positive gains and many negatives In Belize, there have been several instances whereby sexual cyberbullying has come to national attention, which has resulted in public outcry and a call for legislation
On September 5th, 2019 the Office of the Special Envoy in partnership with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation with technical assistance from the Equality & Justice Alliance (EJA), represented by the Human Dignity Trust, hosted a two-part event, a Cyberbullying Forum, and Technical Meeting entitled "Advancing Cyberbullying Amendments to Belize’s Criminal Code” at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza.
The Forum was held following approval from Cabinet for the drafting of amendments to criminalize cyberbullying. It is envisioned that provisions will be made for restitution for victims and higher penalties levied for aggravating circumstances, such as the age of the victim and the extortion committed.
Panelists at the Forum were Superintendent of Police, Commander, Police I.T. & Cyber Unit, Mr. Mario Alcoser, ICT Consultant, Police Information Technology and Cyber Unit, Mr. Harry Noble, Coordinator, Cybercrime Programme (Americas) and Deputy Country Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ms. Nayelly Loya, and Attorney and Legal Consultant, Ms. Diana Shaw.
The plenary session, which took place closer to the end of the program, provided an opportunity for the participants to bring forth their burning questions and concerns regarding cyber-bullying. The importance of the forum was apparent in the number of persons, including lawyers, UN representatives and other key stakeholders who share a common vision of a future with more protection for all vulnerable groups in our country.