UWOPA moves a motion to table the Sexual Offences Bill 2015

Background
In 2000, the Government of Uganda introduced the ‘Sexual Offences (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill’. The Bill sought to amend the provisions of various enactments on sexual offenses, procedural and evidential requirements during trail of sexual offenses and for other related matters. However, in 2012, UWOPA began on a process of tabling a Private Members Bill on the ‘Sexual Offenses Bill having realized that the government process had stalled and was extremely slow. Upon consultations with the former Attorney General, UWOPA was advised and agreed to harmonize its position with that of government instead of pushing for a parallel arrangement. UWOPA submitted proposals to the amendments of the government SOB, however, the government has further delayed despite several efforts to lobby them to present the bill before Parliament. This prompted UWOPA to move the motion seeking leave of parliament to prepare and table its sexual offences bill before end of September 2015. The mover of the bill is Hon. Monicah Amoding (National Youth Mp), seconded by Hon Olivia Kwagala (iganga district) and Hon Harriet Ntabazi (Bundibugyo district)).

Justifications for the bill
 In Uganda Sex-related offences continue to increase country wide despite several interventions by the government and non-government organisations. According to the Police Annual Crime report 2013, defilement was the leading sex related crime reported in the country with a total of 9,598 cases reported compared to 8,076 cases registered in 2012 and 7,690 reported in 2011.This implies that nearly 26 girls most of them adolescents are defiled every day in this country which further translates into two to three girls every hour that goes by. Currently including the media.
 Furthermore the existing laws such as the penal code and defilement acts do not categorically address some of the sexual related cases such as Aggravated Rape; Attempt to commit rape; Administering substance for purpose of committing a sexual act; Sexual Assault; Sexual harassment; Sexual offences relating to position of authority and persons in position of trust; Sexual act with a person incapable of giving consent among others. Even some of the punishments accorded to such crimes are too light and therefore need revision.

 In addition, this private members bill seeks to consolidate laws relating to sexual offences in to one law to easy the work of the judiciary, provide for the appropriate punishment of perpetrators of sexual offences and also provide for procedural and evidential requirements during trial of sexual offences and for other related matters.

 This bill also seeks to address the sexual offences against children that are not sufficiently covered in the existing laws such as Aggravated defilement; Failure to disclose offence of defilement for economic gain; Child to child sex; Householder permitting defilement; Defilement or rape before a child; Supply of sexual material to a child; child prostitution and Child pornography.

This is therefore to call upon all stakeholders for support throughout the entire process of the bill.