Shanmugam: Govt is evaluating laws for sexual offences and abuse of minors and foreign domestic workers

The Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam told Parliament on 3 April that the Government is reviewing the relevant laws applicable to sexual offences to better protect minors and foreign domestic workers from mistreatment.

The minister was responding to a question delivered by MP Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson GRC) who asked whether the ministry will review the relevant legislation to enhance the sentences for all types of sexual offences, with or without penetration and with or without violence, committed on minors.

Mr Shanmugam said that the evaluation would be done for offences involving ‘very young children’ preyed upon or otherwise subjected to sexual abuse.

He then said that a separate class of vulnerable victims are the foreign domestic helpers, who come to work in Singapore because we do not have enough people for this kind of work. “But they have to be treated with a certain dignity and a certain respect for the law. They’re not slaves,” he stated.

Last month, after enraged reaction from the public to the light sentence for Joshua Robinson, a foreigner who sexually assaulted and filmed two teenage girls, Mr Shanmugam announced that the Government would be relooking at penalties for sex crimes against young victims.

And last week in another case, a Singaporean couple was been sentenced to jail and fined for starving their maid from the Philippines over a 15-month period.

“The review would be a comprehensive one,” Mr Shanmugam stated when asked by MP Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) whether the evaluation would include laws related to the mentally disabled.