Children under 18 cannot consent to sex

By Sanna Camara

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The president of Female Lawyers’ Association of the Gambia has said that children under the age of 18, no matter their age, cannot consent to sex.

As such, Neneh Cham said anyone who has sex with such a child has committed an offence under the laws of The Gambia.

Presenting a paper on domestic and sexual violence in the Gambia to journalists at a local hotel this afternoon, Neneh said such an act is punishable with life imprisonment, or a maximum of death penalty.

She said under the Children’s Act, no matter the body sizes or shape of a child, so long as she or he is under eighteen, they cannot consent to sex. It is up to the mature elder to exercise restraint in this case and avoid harming such a child, she explains.

Life imprisonment or death sentence

She explained the case of a man who got life imprisonment for the act, even though he admits the offence to the court, on the excuse that the victim looks old enough.

Despite this, it didn’t save him from a life imprisonment, which is the minimum, said Ms. Cham.

Sensitizing journalists

Her presentation forms part of a sensitization workshop that her organization is undertaking for journalists.

Two new bills, the sexual offences and the domestic violence bills have been the gist of this workshop in which journalists and key members female lawyers association take a step-by-step approach to look into these bills for the understanding of the journalists.

It is believed that this will help journalist report on issues centering on this bills if passed in the national assembly.

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