Protecting Singapore’s vulnerable: Will tougher laws make a difference to those at risk?

Recent changes to the Penal Code have introduced tougher penalties against those who abuse domestic workers, children and people with disabilities, and identified new groups of vulnerable persons. Tan Tam Mei and Cara Wong look at whether harsher punishments would translate into better protection for five groups of vulnerable people.

Under new laws, those who abuse vulnerable victims will face up to twice the maximum punishment for similar crimes against others.
Under new laws, those who abuse vulnerable victims will face up to twice the maximum punishment for similar crimes against others.PHOTO: ST FILE

A society is judged by the way it treats its weakest members and Singapore's move to recognise more vulnerable groups who need protection is a reflection of a more compassionate nation, say experts.

Under laws passed in Parliament earlier this month, those who abuse vulnerable victims will face up to twice the maximum punishment for similar crimes against others.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2019, with the headline 'Will tougher laws make a difference to those at risk?'. Print Edition | Subscribe