A new package on child molestation, which involves amendments to articles 103,104 and 105 of the Turkish Penal Code is set to be one of this first items of the agenda in the upcoming legislative session.
The following are a series of amendments that will be in the forefront of a new legislative package on child protection laws:
* AT LEAST 15 YEAR SENTENCES FOR CHILD ABUSE: The current lower threshold for child abuse sentences, which are presently set at between three to 15 years, will be increased. A minimum sentence of 15 years will be implemented on crimes involving sexual abuse, incest or rape of minors.
* PUBLIC SERVANT SENTENCES TO BE MULTIPLIED BY THREE: If a public servant is charged with committing crimes of child abuse, the sentences served will be multiplied three-fold. The same clause will be implemented in cases where a parent of a child is charged with abuse.
* MINORS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 CONSIDERED AS "CHILDREN": Criteria which can lighten sentences in child abuse cases such as children over the age of 15 providing consent will soon become a part of history. Everyone under the age of 18 will from here on out be considered a "child" and therefore the condition of consent will not be made a factor.
* MENTAL HEALTH CRITERIA: Children who are victims of abuse will automatically be considered to have suffered 'mental health issues' as a result, without necessitating a Forensic Medicine report to determine such a factor.