Turkish government seeking opposition’s consensus for child abuse law: Minister
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is seeking opposition parties’ consensus on legal regulations concerning sexual crimes committed against minors, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ has said, stating that the government is working on giving aggravated life sentences to sex offenders who kill child victims after raping them.
“We have already aggravated sentences in 2014. There are different kinds of abuse, and one of them is rape. We are thinking of giving aggravated life sentences to individuals who take away our children’s lives while committing such evil crimes,” Akdağ told state-run Anadolu Agency on Feb. 28.
The AKP has formed a commission of six ministers to prepare a legislative draft which includes the regulation of the punishments for crimes against minors, especially cases of sexual assault.
Akdağ said the works of the commission have advanced its preparations but the government will seek consolidation with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to finalize the draft.
“We are expecting [the regulation] passes [in parliament] unanimously. In order to find the best solution, surely you have to be flexible,” he said.
Visiting the MHP in parliament, he said there are no significant differences between their and the MHP’s approach to the problem.
“From now on, we will continue keeping contact over the details,” he added.
He said the government is planning to submit the legislative package to the parliament within 10 days.
When asked about the details of the legislation the commission has been working on, Akdağ said legal aspects were at the center of their focus, but added “there are measures to be taken outside of the law.”
“[It is necessary to] educate families and people who are close to the children, including teachers, health workers and other individuals related to the children,” he said.
“After the incident happens, the protection of the child and the family [is important]. It is an issue that should be thought about from beginning to end,” he added.
He stated that the Health Ministry aims to ensure citizens will be able to access Child Monitoring Centers (ÇİM).
“We will establish ÇİMs in every city,” he said.
He added that another important point is to ensure the privacy of the children and their families and safeguard their confidentiality.
Castration ‘not criminal measure’
Akdağ also responded to recent debates on introducing chemical castration for perpetrators of sexual abuses of children, stating that the government is considering the measure not as a criminal one but a preventive measure “after the necessary punishment is served [by the sex offender].”