Debate of 22.07.2014
CHILD ABUSE - SEXUAL RISK ORDER
(No. IB/29) Mrs A. Navarre-Marie (First Member for GRNW & Port Louis West) asked the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Attorney-General whether, in regard to child abuse, he will state if consideration will be given for the advisability of introducing a Sexual Risk Order, as proposed by the Director of Public Prosecutions to better ensure the protection of abused children, having regard to the number of reported child abuse cases, pending the enactment of a Comprehensive Children’s Bill.
Reply (The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare): Presently, the Child Protection Act provides for protection of children victims of abuse including sexual abuse. In the event a child is likely to suffer significant harm, the Permanent Secretary of my Ministry applies for an Emergency Protection Order and where warranted, a Committal Order to have a child placed in a place of safety under the Child Protection Act. In addition, my Ministry provides a number of support services including psychological assistance to child victims.
I am informed by the Attorney General’s Office that there is need to carefully assess the benefits of implementing Sexual Risk Orders. All implications which guarantee an individual’s fundamental rights, including the constitutional aspects of introducing such orders in Mauritius have to be thoroughly analysed.
I am informed that the Office of the Attorney General and the DPP have already started discussions on the exact nature and scope of the Sexual Risk Order as well as the advisability of including it in the Children’s Bill.