18 November 2014
The Centre for Child Law notes with concern a media report stating that an amendment bill that will be tabled before Parliament will ‘legalise’ teenage sex. This statement is misleading.
The aim of the amendments to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 is to decriminalise consensual sexual behaviour between children aged between 12 and 16 years old. This does not amount to legalisation but means that there will be a change in law that eliminates the criminal punishments that these children would face if the Act is left as is. The Constitutional Court has already ruled that the law cannot remain because treating these children as criminals is unconstitutional. Read more ›
“The Sexual Offences Act requires the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to establish intervention mechanisms in the justice system aimed at responding to and preventing sexual violence in our communities. It is the collective legislative role of DoJ&CD to ensure that the protective provisions of the Act come to life every woman, child, older person, person with disabilities, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) person everywhere in the country. Through justice intervention means, our courts should be providing an environment defined by victim- support services that seek to eradicate secondary victimization. Our court services is sought to be designed to make the law more accessible and effective to all victims of sexual violence as they engage with the court system.”
The report presents the initiatives undertaken by the Department in the effective implementation of the Act. It further outlines achievements and challenges experienced.
It is the third report that will be tabled in Parliament in terms of section 65(3) of the Act, and it covers the period 01 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.
Download the Report (Adobe pdf format)
In terms of the Department’s 2010-2015 strategic plans, the campaign had found that two out of six priorities were relevant to sexual violence. And the 2012-2015 strategic plans saw priorities reduced from six to four areas. Approximately 0.4% of the national department’s budget was allocated towards welfare services which were distributed amongst 11 sub-programmes which included the social crime prevention and victim empowerment programme (VEP). Read more ›