The fish rots from the head down
I need to vent. Last weekend the aha erlebnis as I wrote about, and today this.
In a matter which I consider extremely sensitive if not explosive, The International Committee of Jurists (ICJ) along with UNAIDS and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) officially launched a new set of expert jurist legal principles to guide the application of international human rights law to criminal law.
The report is called The 8 March Principles
I find a pretty good write-up on the matter is here
In the report, which is endorsed by the United Nations and was produced by the ICJ in ... Geneva-Switzerland, is stated:
Moreover, sexual conduct involving persons below the domestically prescribed minimum age of consent to sex may be consensual, in fact, if not in law. In this context, the enforcement of criminal law should reflect the rights and capacity of persons under 18 years of age to make decisions about engaging in consensual sexual conduct and their right to be heard in matters concerning them. Pursuant to their evolving capacities and progressive autonomy, persons under 18 years of age should participate in decisions affecting them, with due regard to their age, maturity and best interests, and with specific attention to non-discrimination guarantees.
You already know from previous posts Switzerland in jurisprudence considers children having reached the age of reason at 10 years old, and in some cases younger then 10 years old.
So my daughter, when she'll be 10 years old, will have officially the age of reason in Switzerland, and if the above from the report is happening, her grandfather can do as he pretty pleases with her. Not that he doesn't do it now already, he has done so since she was just short of 5 years old.
Now, I don't know you, but my hair is standing Einstein wise straight up, my gut spilled all over the place, and every cell of my body is in overdrive.
Now, deep breath, and let me take to the skies for an eagle's eye on this problem.
I would agree sexual violence against children should evolve to no longer be criminalised by the criminal justice. (GULP, yes, I just wrote that, because and only because of what follows to the strictest guarantees)
Of course I personally feel very strongly. My own kids are on the front line, suffering sexual violence in Switzerland. My gut is all against anyone harming a child's sexual integrity. Such person should suffer the harshest of punishments till the end of time.
But to what effect? Perpetrators and authorities keeping it hidden at all costs like is the case today? Victims and witnesses shutting up afraid of retaliation? Making sure those with competence in treating such matters are not listened to, and perpetrators can keep on violating children's sexual integrity? Making sure those who do dare to speak against sexual violence on children are being ignored, shamed, discredited, persecuted, their very lives endangered?
Let's face it, if condemned today, after imprisonment and being stigmatised, a child sexual perpetrator will not stop.
I think as a society we need to safeguard the sexual integrity of children at all cost. For that to happen, the only way is bringing the subject to the foreground, permanently. We need to put everything in place for it to never happen again. By monitoring, counseling, raising public awareness, decriminalising the idea of adult honour, ego, by scrapping the concept of calumny or defamation in the face of sexual violence against children. And never accepting that even the slightest doubt of a single act would not be thoroughly investigated immediately, followed by permanent civil accompanying measures for both the victim(s) and the perpetrator(s).
If permanent civil measures protecting, recognising and safeguarding the victims can be guaranteed, for life; AND If permanent civil perpetrator monitoring and redemption measures are in place, for life; Then, and only then, by all means, take it out of the criminal justice system.
See, the problem here will be the for life element. Just like in criminal justice, perpetrators will be treated ... kindly. And victims will remain ... in the cold.
So quite simply put: until this for life guarantee is provided for, let there be no doubt: criminal justice for child sexual integrity violations is the only way, and this until the child turns at least 18 years old.
And definitely, the Swiss way needs to get over and done with, but that you understood by now, I hope.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. This blog gets the proverbial pants on!
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