Underage dating service

Secondly, the decision facilitates access to sexual and reproductive health services for 12 - 15-year-olds.

Consensual sex where both parties are aged 12 - 15 is now no longer a sexual offence and the adolescent cannot be charged.

» Strange (and incompatible) bedfellows: The relationship between the National Health Act and the regulations relating to artificial fertilisation of persons, and its impact on individuals engaged in assisted reproduction » After Life Esidimeni: True human rights protections or lip service to the Constitution?In a society with high levels of intergenerational sex,10 it is possible that many healthcare workers or researchers would become aware that a sexual offence is being committed against a child if they ask them questions about their sexual partner. If a child aged 12 - 15 has sex with an older partner aged 16 - 17 there may not be more than a 2-year age gap between them or the older person will still be committing a criminal offence. Secondly, Justice Rabie specifically found that there is no need to address the constitutionality of Section 54(1)(a) of the Sexual Offences Act dealing with the mandatory reporting of sexual offences against children, as he had already found that Sections 15 and 16 were inconsistent with the Constitution (paragraph 121).1 This means that these sections will remain in place for the foreseeable future.We submit that there are a number of mandatory reporting implications for healthcare providers and researchers working with adolescents following the case.consensual sexual penetration) even though this could have the unintended consequence of undermining the adolescent’s rights in terms of the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act.7 Given that many researchers and healthcare providers could, intentionally or by inference, become aware of a child’s sexual activity (because they lawfully asked adolescents questions about their sexual activity, identified sexually transmitted diseases, or provided HIV testing, pregnancy services or access to contraceptives) they had to decide how to respond to underage sex or sexual activity and its accompanying mandatory reporting requirements.They could either provide children with confidential sexual and reproductive health services, thus complying with the Children’s Act but ignoring the Sexual Offences Act, or they could comply with the criminal law and report to such behavior to the police, thus breaching the doctor/patient relationship and adversely affecting the researcher/participant relationship, as well as undermining a child’s sexual and reproductive rights according to legislation such as the Children’s Act.3 These provisions, and their implications for both health researchers and providers, have led to considerable debate.

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