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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Protector of Citizens expresses his satisfaction with the fact that along with the Bill on Amendments to the Criminal Code, which the Government sent to the National Assembly for adoption in urgent procedure, the Protector of Citizens’ initiative for reviewing the statute of limitations for the prosecution of criminal offence against sexual freedom committed against a child was also accepted. The Protector of Citizens proposed that in the cases of criminal offences against sexual freedom committed against a child, the statute of limitations should commence to run when the child reaches the age of majority.

The previous research and practice indicate that in the majority of these cases the time-limitation expires before the child victim comes of age. The perpetrators of such crimes are usually the individuals close to the child, or in a position of power over the child - warns Protector of Citizens and emphasises that the only fair and proper solution is to allow the child to decide whether to prosecute the perpetrator when he/she reaches the age of majority.

At the same time, the Working Group of the Ministry of Justice is expected to continue to work on improving and modernising the Criminal Code, as announced by this Ministry; it is also expected that all other proposals from the Initiative of the Protector of Citizens, referring to gender-based violence and child protection, will be accepted in the near future. Thus, the Criminal Code would be aligned with the National Strategy for Preventing and Combating Domestic and Partner Relationship Violence against Women, the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, and the standards established by the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, which Serbia will, hopefully, accede to soon.