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Review of laws governing sexual offences



Ms Braema Mathiaparanam:

"To ask the Minister for Home Affairs if he will

(a) give an update on the review of laws governing sexual offences;

(b) provide the figures for sexual offences against children aged 15 and below for 2003 and 2004; and

(c) state the possibility of reviewing charges and laws to include paedophilia offences."


I had previously informed this House that MHA has convened a multi-agency committee to review sexual offences currently prescribed in the Penal Code, Women's Charter and the Children and Young Persons Act.

This review, which is part of a larger review of the Penal Code, is in its final stages. Our target is to amend the Penal Code next year.

As for the number of sexual offences committed against children and young persons below 16 years of age, there were 67 cases prosecuted in 2003 and 11 cases prosecuted between January and September this year.

I have made it very clear in this House that MHA does not condone or tolerate sexual abuse of children and young persons.

Tough laws are already in place to punish these offenders and to deter potential perpetrators. Despite the low prevalence of such cases, MHA acknowledges the need to accord greater protection to minors, as they are not yet fully mature, physically or psychologically, to consent to such behaviour.

MHA is therefore considering providing tougher penalties to punish an adult who engages in sexual activities, especially for penetrative offences, with a child or young person. This will send a deterrent signal that adults should not engage in sexual activities with children or young persons.

Source: Ministry of Home Affairs News Release 19 Oct 2004


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26 October 2004