Barbados is in real danger of becoming the number one sex tourism destination in the Caribbean for paedophiles, a veteran adult industry official has warned.
The head of the Adult Industry Association (AIA) Charlie Spice also cautioned the Mia Mottley administration that Barbados was on target to be infamous as the country with the highest rate of underage sex in schools.
He also revealed that child prostitution and sex trafficking were growing exponentially across the country.
Spice noted that over the past two to three years, countless numbers of videos have been circulating via WhatsApp and other social media platforms, depicting school girls in Barbados performing sexual acts.
“What is even more alarming is that some of these kids are having sex in their school uniforms, which is highly disgraceful and disrespectful to their schools, their teachers and their parents,” he said.
Spice told Barbados TODAY that he knows more than most people about the level of sexual activities among children and other young people because they confide in him as head of the adult industry thinking he would condone their behaviour.
“It really upsets me what is going on in this country. So many of these videos are coming to me.
“I probably get to see more…perhaps all of these videos and a lot more than most people because people seem to think because I am in the adult industry, I condone this sort of behaviour.
“I delete them right away because I more so than anyone else know it is illegal to store child pornography and it is also illegal to transmit it to other people,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Spice also revealed: “I am inundated with young girls in the streets in Bridgetown and wherever I go, bragging to me that they were having sex and bragging to me that they are involved in the commercial sex activities.
“So I know more than people about what is going on with this situation.”
Spice declared he is tired of school teachers and parents brushing the situation under the carpet because it is not their child or student in the video.
“Or perhaps it is just one kid from a school and the headmaster or headmistress will deal with that as an isolated case not realizing the gravitas of the situation,” the adult industry leader declared.
But Spice told Barbados TODAY that going public is just the beginning of seeking to bring awareness to this “alarming” situation and hoping for measures to address it.
“I will be writing the relevant authorities directly and see if I can get some dialogue going. I would love to have some town hall meetings and attend some parent teacher association meetings because I am very concerned about this situation.
“What upsets me more is that people think I would condone this type of behavior because I am in the adult industry,” an adamant Spice said.
The adult industry official said the sex videos are not only circulated within Barbados, but are also shared worldwide, “thus bringing Barbados to the attention of paedophiles and child sex traffickers who are always looking for new destinations to exploit children. The last thing Barbados tourism needs is to become synonymous with this type of negative activity. Once acquired, a country can never rid itself of this reputation,” he warned.
He stressed that for years, minors in Barbados have been sexually exploited by local men with impunity, as very few have been prosecuted for the heinous acts.
He said: “With these videos of child pornography floating around social media, it wouldn’t be long before a global demand is created for little Bajan boys and girls.”
He said this scourge gives rise to a number of questions such as “are the videos we get to see only a fraction of the number of school kids having sex; why have the morals, values and self respect of our children in Barbadian society deteriorated so low that they not only have sex in schools, but deliberately allow videos of these acts to be produced and posted on social media; are parents doing enough to stem this problem; and is the Government and the school administrators doing enough?”
Spice said it is time for Barbadians to stop burying their heads in the sand and recognize that this problem is not isolated to a handful of children who happen to get caught via videos on social media.
“Sexual activity among minors in Barbados is an island-wide problem within secondary schools and to a lesser extent, primary schools.
“The impact is no longer just the spread of STI’s [sexually transmitted infections] and teenage pregnancies. Child prostitution and sex trafficking are now a reality and continue to grow exponentially on the island.
“Barbados needs to take onboard the lessons learned by countries like Vietnam, Brazil, Romania, Philippines and India where these problems have existed for years to varying degrees,” he added.
He appealed to the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Tourism, the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), Immigration Department, Child Care Board and other relevant organizations to develop and implement realistic interventions and sustainable solutions to address these issues.
“The management of AIA is happy to offer assistance as required,” he promised.
“This is also a warning to parents who brush this issue under the carpet because their children are not the ones seen in the videos. Are you sure your child is not having sex at school or elsewhere?” he asked.