An analysis of the prevalence of defilement cases in Zambia
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Defilement is highly prevalent in Zambia as evidenced by widespread reports on the vice in recent years. In view of this fact, the law on defilement seeks to protect the plight of young children in society to ensure they grow into responsible citizens and contribute meaningfully to national development.This research analyses the cause of the high prevalence of defilement cases in Zambia. The research will analyse information collected from both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources comprise interviews with people from leading institutions involved in the fight against defilement such as Victim Support Unit (VSU) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) involved in the fight against defilement such as the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) and the National Legal Aid Clinic for Women (NLACW). Secondary sources will include journals, books, statutes, newspaper articles and internet sources. The research will analyse section 138 of the Penal Code and show that the law on defilement in its current form is inadequate to address the high prevalence of defilement. The research will also demonstrate the complexity of the requirement of corroboration in defilement cases and the negative impact it has on the prevalence of defilement.The research will also analyse the performance of the VSU and show that this institution can be effective in eradicating the high prevalence of defilement if the challenges the institution continues to face can be addressed. Further, the research will further show that the awareness campaign messages on defilement do not address the possible causes of defilement and this is partly responsible for the high prevalence of defilement cases in Zambia. The research recommended that the proviso in section 138 of the Penal Code which provides a defence for the accused if he or she had reasonable cause to believe and did in fact believe that the accused was of or above the age of sixteen years be removed as it has a negative bearing on the fight against defilement among others.
- Law