General Secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Dr. Horace Chang and the Jamaica Labour Party Women's Parliamentary Caucus have added their voices to the matter concerning comments made by Justice Minister Delroy Chuck last week during a Joint Select Committee Meeting on the Sexual Harassment Bill.
During the discussion on an appropriate time period for the reporting of sexual harassment, Mr. Chuck said he did not want to see persons making sexual harassment complaints years after the incident, as has been happening in the 'Me Too' movement.
The statement has drawn strong condemnation from members of the public.
In the joint statement from the JLP on Monday, Dr. Chang said the groups strongly condemned any statement which diminishes the importance of the issue of sexual harassment, or the broader issue of sexual violence.
He said Mr. Chuck's apology is welcomed.
The JLP General Secretary added that going forward, he expects Mr. Chuck's conduct in the committee will reflect the seriousness with which such matters should be addressed.
Meanwhile, the Justice Minister has issued another apology.
In his statement on the weekend, Mr. Chuck said he apologised to anyone who found his remarks at the parliamentary committee inappropriate.
In another statement issued Monday, the Justice Minister said he deeply regrets what, upon reflection, was insensitive behaviour on his part, and unreservedly and sincerely apologises.
He said he acknowledges and sympathises with the hurt and the trauma experienced by persons who are victims of harassment or any form of sexual abuse for which there is no statute of limitation.
"I commit and assure everyone who has been concerned by my utterance that my conduct in committee meetings and otherwise will reflect the fact that I do not seek to diminish the importance of this issue. I always advocate for women to be treated with dignity and respect and I believe in a society where women are never objectified or exploited," said Mr. Chuck in a video apology.
He added that his comments last week "did not convey this personal and professional truth" and for that he is "deeply sorry."
"I ask for the public's forgiveness and commit to championing the cause and concerns of our women and to be an ally and an advocate, representing fully and fairly the women of Jamaica," said the Justice Minister.