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A Legal Obligation to Report Child Sexual Abuse? - A Review of National and International Standards

Show simple item record Mendis,N 2018-05-24T08:21:56Z 2018-05-24T08:21:56Z 2015
dc.description Article Full Text en_US
dc.description.abstract Several revelations on child sexual abuse that shocked the public and gained media attention worldwide in recent years have highlighted an extremely serious social and legal issue. The scale of predatory paedophilia committed by certain persons in institutions such as the Catholic Church, BBC (Jimmy Savile) and Pennsylvania State University (Jerry Sandusky) have raised issues that go beyond criminal liability of individual perpetrators. Questions have been raised about the responsibility of the Vatican and other institutions, regarding long term failure to report such suspected criminal activities to child protection and law enforcement authorities. Criminal activities in these kinds of situations were often conducted on institution premises itself and at times with knowledge of persons in positions of authority, who nevertheless decided to deny protection to the child in favour of maintaining the institutional image, thereby protecting perpetrators from criminal investigation. The failure of such persons to act according to their conscience or moral responsibility to protect children from further rape and sexual abuse and to support their access to justice by reporting such abuse when brought to their attention, means we need to ask whether such duty should be made mandatory by law and failure to do so a punishable offence. This research analyses Sri Lankan law (including Penal Code Amendment Act no.16 of 2006) with a comparative study of legislation and policy in different jurisdictions with regard to civil or criminal liability for omission to report child rape or sexual abuse. International standards set by the Child Rights Convention and the recommendations of the Child Rights Committee in this regard (in particular CRC/C/VAT/CO/2 of 31st January 2014), will be critically analysed. Objectives of the research are to ascertain whether the legal system ought to protect the best interests of vulnerable children by placing a legal duty to report such abuse. Findings indicate an emerging responsibility upon States to establish clear rules, mechanisms and procedures for mandatory reporting of all suspected cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation to law enforcement authorities. This has been both a domestic response and part of international standardsetting en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Reporting Child Sexual Abuse en_US
dc.subject Omission en_US
dc.subject Civil and/or Criminal Liability en_US
dc.title A Legal Obligation to Report Child Sexual Abuse? - A Review of National and International Standards en_US
dc.type Article Full Text en_US
dc.identifier.journal KDU IRC en_US
dc.identifier.pgnos 222-229 en_US

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