Minister for social welfare wants harsher penalties for rape
IF Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Minister U Win Myat Aye gets his way, anyone who is convicted of raping a minor could face life in prison, up from the current maximum sentence of 20 years, he announced yesterday.
The ministry has made a verbal request for advice from the Union Attorney General’s Office as to how to implement this new penalty, he told reporters after an Amyotha Hluttaw meeting.
“We verbally requested that the Union Attorney General’s Office increase the maximum penalty,” he said. “We expect a reply will come a few days later. Precise details will be available when the new version of the 1993 Child Law comes out.”
The original Child Law did not mention the rape of minors. The ministry has asked for specific penalties in the most recent version, which is nearly complete. If accepted, sentences would range from a 10-year minimum to a life sentence.
“The death penalty, which is being adopted in some countries, is something everyone should discuss,” said the Union minister.
The proposal comes just days after a photo campaign, held over the weekend in Mandalay, called for stricter punishment of child rapists.