What constitutes an exploitative sexual relationship? Proposed law on new sex crimes sparks debate

Singapore's criminal law framework will be undergoing a major revision following proposed changes in Parliament last week. Among the proposals that stirred debate was a new offence tackling exploitative sexual relationships with minors. Questions were also raised over enforcement against new crimes like stealthing.

The Criminal Law Reform Bill presented in Parliament last week, among other things, makes it an offence to have an exploitative sexual relationship with anyone aged between 16 and 18, a move that has sparked debate among lawyers and legal experts.

While most agreed that it is necessary to protect minors from predators, some wondered if there would be unintended effects.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2019, with the headline 'Proposed law on new sex crimes sparks debate among law experts'. Print Edition | Subscribe