The reporter’s son’s heart touching feeling of happiness

Children are physically and mentally immature. As a result, they are vulnerable and are dependent on adults for their basic needs. As a particularly vulnerable member of the society, children thus require and in fact deserve special protection. This has been given explicit recognition in the CRC and ACRWC. The CRC on its part states that, “bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth” (CRC, 1990: Preamble, para. 9). Similarly, the ACRWC stipulates that, “recognizing that the child, due to the needs of his physical and mental development requires particular care with regard to health, physical, mental, moral and social development, and requires legal protection in conditions of freedom, dignity and security”
As the writer try to show in the introductory part of this article, Ethiopia adopts a single age of consent, which is eighteen years of age. Hence, a male or female under eighteen years of age cannot consent to sex, regardless of the age of the other party. As a result, sexual relations between two minors would be illegal, as would relations between a minor and an adult, and thus is statutory rape. Here it should be noted that there is no minimum limit as to the age of the victim under the Criminal Code for the application of statutory rape. However, there is minimum age limit for a person to be held criminally responsible for any kind of crime, as stipulated in Article 52 of the Criminal Code. This article states that “infants who have not attained the age of nine years shall not be deemed to be criminally responsible”. If the perpetrator attains the age of nine years, he/she will be held criminally responsible for the crime of statutory rape if he/she perform sexual intercourse with a person below the age of eighteen. Therefore, it is not necessary that the older juvenile held criminally responsible under the Ethiopian criminal law. What matters is the fulfillment of the conditions stated in Articles 620 (2a), 626 and 627 of the Criminal Code.

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