AMENDMENT BILL TO DECRIMINALISE CONSENSUAL SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR BETWEEN TEENAGERS
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.
The aim of the amendments to the Criminal (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 is to decriminalise consensual sexual behaviour between children aged 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.
The Act will contain no provisions legalising consensual sexual behaviour and as a result will leave the responsibility of engaging with the children on a level that they will understand, with parents, schools, religious organisations and other community based interventions.
For more info please see the media release below: