Sri Lanka is planning to introduce death penalty to child abusers and rapists, an official said on Friday.
The minister in charge of the Child Development and Women’s affairs has proposed to the parliament to impose death sentence or life imprisonment tooffenders who are convicted of child abuse and raping women, China’s Xinhua news agency quoted a ministry official as saying.
Minister Tissa Karalliyadde has told the parliament that severe punishment should be imposed on the two groups of criminals as the rapes of children and women are dangerously high.
Early this year, a draft proposal recommending maximum punishment for rapists of women and children was sent to the Ministry of Justice.
The state records indicated that in 2011, 1,450 female rape cases were reported while child rape accounted for 1,169.
However, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), an institution specially established to curb child abuses indicated an alarming increase with at least 20,000 cases of child abuses reported in the first six months of 2012.
Under Sri Lankan laws, those under 16 years are minors and sex with a minor is considered rape, with or without consent. Authorities are examining proposals to enforce the death penalty and make it a non-bailable offence, instead of present punishment maximum jail term of 10 years.
Since the President does not endorse it, Sri Lanka has not implemented death penalty though recognizes it in principle. All convicted to death have been commuted to life in prison and the last execution was in 1973.