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Friday, April 12, 2024
HomeNewsStakeholders Call For Stiffer Penalties Against Sex Offenders

Stakeholders Call For Stiffer Penalties Against Sex Offenders

Child rights advocacy groups and other stakeholders have called for stiffer penalties against sexual exploitation of children by adults in the country.

The calls were made during a youth indaba on the Criminal Code Amendment Bill that was gazetted in December 2022 amid requests for a digital national offenders register.

Speaking at the event, child rights advocacy group Katswe Sistahood director Talent Jumo said a national offenders register will help keep track with criminals.

“We need to criminalise paedophilia and make sure we formulate a national offender’s registry which is digitalized so that we are able to keep track of sex offenders. The request to Parliament is to legislate and ensure protection of children from sexual exploitation by adults. We appeal to all Members of Parliament not to miss an opportunity to act on the Constitutional Court’s recommendations and amend the age of sexual consent,” said Jumo.

Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health chairperson Dr. Ruth Labode called for legislation of safe abortions.

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“We need to stop turning young girls into mothers. There is a huge need for the legalisation of safe abortions, especially for young women who have been sexually exploited. Most young women are unable to pursue their dreams soon after getting pregnant and as legislators we hope that amendments to the Criminal Code will bring an end to this mayhem,” said Dr. Labode.

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Hwange Central legislator Daniel Molokele said there is need to review penalties imposed on sex offenders.

“We need to do away with options of fines and community service when it comes to sexual offense, it undermines the extent of the offense. There is no fine or community service that can amend the damage cause by sexual abuse. Penalties should be stiffer.” said Molokele

One participant added “Survivor support needs to be strengthened in Zimbabwe. The justice system needs to be more prompt in addressing issues faced by survivors or sexual violence. Offenders are walking scot-free in communities because justice has not been served on time.”

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