Caging Chat Room Predators: the Legislative Address of ‘online Child Grooming’, a Comparative Analysis of Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom
Indrakumara, Madushan WD
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The most vulnerable sector of people are the minors, and that is a statement which can be pronounced with great confidence. Hence the duty of society to safeguard the offspring of its future cannot be renounced. With the advancement of technology and the access to such advancements readily available to children, sexual exploitation of the innocence of the juvenile via the internet has seen the light of day. Autonomous popularity of the social media and addiction inducing internet games can be identified as the contemporary breeding grounds for child sexual exploitation. This paper seeks to analyses the coherence of the Sri Lankan legal system, comparing it with that of the United Kingdom, in addressing online grooming of children to befall victims to sexual violations. Child grooming is an inchoate offence, upon which this paper elaborates further. The objective of this research is to determine the adequacy of the Sri Lankan legislative initiatives to address this novel form of child exploitation, focused mainly on the Penal Code of Sri Lanka. The methodology utilized for the purpose of this research is the Black Letter approach coupled with comparative research methodology with United Kingdom, and further this paper uses qualitative analysis of legislative enactments and case law as primary data and books and journal articles as secondary data. The research concludes with the view that, in Sri Lanka, legislative enactments are insufficient to address the inchoate offence of child grooming, which warrants amendments to the penal law.