Last year’s sharp rise in child sex abuse cases prompts a call for reform Link copied
Although crime in general showed a decline in Macao in 2022, sexual crimes against children soared to their highest level in four years, prompting one advocate to speak out.
A prominent family welfare advocate has called for reform in light of figures that showed a shocking rise in the sexual abuse of minors.
Although overall crime figures dropped in 2022, sexual crimes against children increased by 50 percent compared to 2021, with Macau recording 27 such cases – the highest figure in the last four years.
Loi I Weng, the deputy director of family lobby group Associação de Construção Conjunta de Um Bom Lar, has asked the government to review laws and increase awareness of such crimes, according to a report in Jornal Tribuna de Macau.
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In particular, she called for legal reform to bring Macao in line with Hong Kong and Taiwan, “where the law prohibits suspended sentences when crimes involve minors.”
Loi, who is also a member of the Conselho para os Assuntos das Mulheres e Crianças de Macau (a local council of women’s and children’s affairs), additionally called for minimum penalties for such crimes to be increased, Jornal Tribuna de Macau reported.
The government, she said, should work with telecommunications, Internet and social network operators, “so that they can warn minors about self-protection and [improve] reporting channels”.