Adolescents Should Not Be Jailed For Having Consensual Sex with Peers

By Carlos Onyango / November 16, 2019 | 9:19 am



HIV

A lobby group wants courts to pardon adolescents who get involved in consensual sex acts with their peers.

The lobby group, known as the  Center for Reproductive Rights, advocates for the revision of the  Sexual Offences Act saying a number of adolescents especially the males have been sent to jail even when another party was equally willing to participate in the act.

According to the lobby group, the Sexual Offences Act does not outline the differences between sex among minors and sex between adults and minors, but gives equal punishment to both offences.

“The Sexual Offences Act does not make any distinction between sex among adolescent minors and sexual acts between adolescent minors and adults, all of which are classified and have been interpreted as criminal offences,” said the lobby in a statement.

Ms. Evelyne Opondo, regional director for Africa at the Centre for Reproductive Rights argues that the constitution gives the adolescents the rights to reproduction health thus criminalization of adolescent-to-adolescent minor’s sexual encounters without exception unjustifiably restricts constitutional guarantees for adolescents.

Adolescents tend to undergo a period of physical and mental development thus trying to understand their sexuality, something that has prompted early sexual involvement at very tender ages.

Ms. Opondo, therefore, argues that proper reproductive education is required to ensure that adolescents get informed about their sexuality before they get involved in sex.

Some judges have been forced to pass their judgments against the constitutional requirement as they try to involve fairness to both parties reported for sexual crimes. Such rulings have proven that adolescents can decide to have consensual sex among themselves.

The only exempted cases of sexual charges should be those involved in rape or other sexual offenses without the consent of the other party.

READ ALSO: SGBV: Tackling Sexual Violence in Public Transport 







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