Sexual Offences Act, 2013

Extract from S. Nabaneh, “The impact of the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol in The Gambia,” in V. Ayeni (ed) The impact of the African Charter and Maputo Protocol in selected African States (Pretoria: Pretoria University Law Press, 2016)

 The Sexual Offences Act addresses the most common sexual offenses and provides for punitive measures. This Act provides protection against sexual crimes against all persons especially vulnerable groups, including women, children and people who are mentally and physically disabled. The Act is applicable to the crime of rape and other sexual offences. However, the law fails to address marital rape. It further failed to have a provision for the review of the law as well as penalties for authorities who do not act swiftly and effectively while respecting the human rights of the women affected within a required time frame. The former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women stated that: ‘in the context of norms recently established by the international community, a state that does not act against crimes of violence against women is as guilty as the perpetrators.” (UN Human Rights Council, 2007).  

Download the Sexual Offences Act 2013.