PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will consider adding a provision on victim compensation for sexual offences under the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017, said Minister in the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (pic).
Currently, she said, the court had not been given wide powers to deal with the plight of victims.
"This is something we must consider. In India and the United Kingdom, victim compensation is one of the strategies, and assistance to help victims and their families. Penalisation by penalty via victim compensation is one of the deterrent strategies.
"Counselling and medical repair are very expensive. It is not only the child who is affected. The family members are also affected emotionally," she said after closing the forum "Hard Talk: A-Z Children in Contact With the Law'' at the Judicial and Legal Training Institute (IKLAP) here on Saturday.
Azalina said victim compensation was one of the four additional provisions suggested to enhance and strengthen the Bill on Sexual Offences Against Children.
"I'll propose to the Cabinet next week for a study be conducted to include the provision," she said.
Besides victim compensation, Azalina said a special court to deal with sexual crimes against children, appointment of victim advocates or watching brief lawyer in cases involving child victims and providing victims support service would also be included. She said the setting up of the special court , expected to begin operation in June, was to ensure proceedings and trial for sexual crime against children could run smoothly and also to protect the children.
More than 250 participants, including law practitioners, judges, prosecutors and NGOs attended the three-day forum. - Bernama