MPs Support Harsher Penalties for Sex Crimes against Children

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 12, 2018 – Representatives of both the opposition and the ruling majority in the Croatian parliament on Thursday supported amendments to the Penal Code and the Law on Legal Consequences of Conviction, Rehabilitation and Criminal Records, whereby the HDZ party group proposed harsher punishment for child sex offenders who, under the amendments, would be registered as paedophiles for good.

“The purpose of the amendments is to sanction more appropriately child sexual abuse and prevent it,” Irena Petrijevčanin Vuksanović of the HDZ said while presenting the amendments which the government has adopted.

One of the changes proposes that there should be no statute of limitations on crimes of child sexual abuse.

The amendments also propose banning convicted child sex offenders from professions where they could get in touch with children, which until now was left to judges to decide. The amendments also propose five-year supervision for persons who have committed acts of child sexual abuse.

Sentences for child abuse would also be increased to up to 20 years for grave crimes of abuse and to up to 15 years for child rape.

Sonja Čikotić of the MOST party welcomed the amendments and noted that they were put on the parliament’s agenda at the proposal of MOST MP Ines Strenja-Linić.

Social Democrat Romana Jerković said that she supported any initiative dealing with the problem which, she said, had been given insufficient attention for a long time, but noted that a new “anti-paedophile” law was needed to systematically deal with the problem.

Marija Puh of the Croatian People’s Party (HNS) said that 510 children in Croatia fall victim to sexual violence every year, that there were around 300 perpetrators of such crimes every year and that of all cases of sexual crimes in the country, child sexual abuse accounted for 76%.


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