Ugandan parliament approves Sexual Offences Bill . (GPJ)

Ugandan parliament approves Sexual Offences Bill

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Uganda’s Sexual Offences Bill

On Monday night, Ugandan Parliament passed the Sexual Offences Bill, 2019 paving way for persons convicted of sexual offences to have their data registered with the National Identification and Registration Authority (Nira).

The bill which if signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni, will seek to address the various sex offences in the country.

The Legal and Parliamentary Committee chairperson, Mr Jacob Oboth Oboth (NRM, West Budama South) presented the Bill in Parliament on Monday afternoon and asked the House to create a sex offender’s register, which will be linked to the Nira system and information shared within 10 days on conviction of the offenders. 

“The register shall be managed and maintained in electronic or other form by the authority. A person convicted of an offence under this Act shall have his or her particulars captured in the register,” the Bill, which now awaits President Museveni’s signature, reads in part. 

Background

What the Bill addresses:

  • Whereas the Penal Code Act, Cap. 120 provides for a numbers of sexual offences, the provisions are outdated and the ingredients constituting the offences are narrow, given the fact that they do not reflect the evolving trends in social attitudes, values and sexual practices.
  • New forms of sexual violence and exploitation have emerged, such as sex tourism, indecent communication and child marriages, which are not provided for, making it difficult to deal with it.
  • The Penal Code Act, Act. 120 is also limited in as far as combating sexual violence on Ugandan citizens while outside the country. 
  • It is necessary to have specific law on sexual offences to provide for the effectual prevention of sexual violence.

Types of sexual offence

  • Rape
  • Aggravated rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Indecent communication
  • Sexual harassment
  • Detention with sexual intent
  • Sexual act with person in custody
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Unnatural offences
  • Defilement
  • Aggravated defilement
  • Procuring defilement
  • Sexual offence by children
  • Household permitting defilement
  • Supply of sexual content and material to a child
  • Child prostitution
  • Child sex tourism
  • Sexual act in presence of child
  • Marriage involving child
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