Chief Justice Cites Discrimination of Boys in the Sexual Offences Law

The boy-child has been listed as the biggest victim of the Sexual Offences Act. The Chief
Justice, while launching peer review training on criminal justice systems, indicated that the
statute was biased towards girls even at a time when gender-based crimes were on a gradual rise.

Mr. Maraga indicated that Parliament was frustrating judicial bids to decriminalize teenage sex
and termed such barriers as an impediment to the dispensation of justice in the country.

He further indicated that it was wrong to fill Kenya’s correctional centers with teenage boys yet
they participated in consensual sex with teenage girls. According to the Chief Justice, such
occurrences of teenage sex were simply an indicator of young people enjoying their adolescence.

Various actors, among them the Kenya Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) had maid
sustained efforts to present memoranda to parliament, on the bill, but to no avail. The women
lobby group wanted to create a legal platform that reduced the number of boys incarcerated for
such crimes.

Unfortunately, the National Assembly whittled down the bill, hence returning judiciary into an
era of legal dilemma.

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