Sexual Violence: Child Victims to Receive Compulsory Treatment in Ekiti
The Ekiti State House of Assembly has passed a bill which mandates every hospital, both private and government-owned, in the state to compulsorily accept for adequate treatment, any child who is a victim of sexual violence.
The bill which is titled ‘Compulsory Treatment and Care for Child Victims of Sexual Violence Bill, 2020’ was passed on Tuesday at a sitting of the house in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
According to the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda, this bill, when signed into law, will make Ekiti State the first state in Nigeria to enact legislation that specifically enforces compulsory medical treatment for child victims of sexual violence.
The Bill was passed against the background of increasing cases of rape and child defilement in the State. According to a statement issued by the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice on this development, the Attorney General welcomed the prompt enactment of the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Child Victims of Sexual Violence Bill.
He said: “This is in furtherance of the Fayemi Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy for Sexual Violence Against Children. The Ministry of Justice will continue to propose laws, policies and administrative interventions to achieve the effective prosecution of sex offenders especially those who prey on children, while at the same time ensuring that we respond compassionately to the needs of victims of sexual violence.”
Fapohunda also stated that “by this Law, we are giving hospitals the legal protection they need to promptly report to the Police, cases of any child victim of sexual violence who come into their facilities for treatment. We hope that the sanctions provisions of this Law will not be necessary because we expect full cooperation from hospitals”.
In recent developments on similar cases in the past, the state had on several occasions named and shamed sex offenders by publishing their pictures on government social media platforms.
The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi is expected to sign the Bill into Law on Friday the 5th June 2020
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