Call for more specific laws to tackle child sexual abuse
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian laws are severely inadequate to deal with the wide range of sexual offences against children, say legal minds reacting to Richard Huckle’s sentencing in London.
There are no specific legal repercussions for the act of grooming, which often serves as the foundation for most sexual crimes against children.
“We need to have laws that prescribe certain behaviours with children as being criminal,” said Association of Women Lawyers (AWL) president Goh Siu Lin.
The definition of rape also has to be expanded beyond penile penetration in heterosexual intercourse.
According to Kitson Foong, a criminal law practitioner with over 26 years of experience, Britain has very specific laws to protect children.
Apart from the comprehensive Sexual Offences Act 2003, they also have the Protection of Children Act 1978 which deals with indecent photos of children.
“It is high time that we have our own specific Sexual Offences Act, which governs and captures all forms of sexual crime against all victims,” he said.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 also deals with notification requirements, or what is called a sex offenders registry.
“I believe that the current proposed amendments to Malaysia’s Child Act 2001 has the same idea, which is to formulate a register.
“I hope this register will enable law enforcement officials to track and monitor the movements of convicted child offenders to ensure they stay away from places such as schools and playgrounds,” Foong said.
*This article is taken from The Star Online. The original article can be found here.