Belgian Policy on Sexual crime

Although sexual delinquency is of all times. this problematic issue has been receiving growing attention from the policy maker, especially after the Dutroux case. Sexual abuse cases, especially rape and indecent assault of which adults and minors are the victims, as well as their exploitation for sexual purposes, are extremely serious crimes which are to be prosecuted with more and more efficiency. In addition to these crimes, there are also sexual offences which must likewise hold our attention (indecent behaviour, indecent exposure, etc.).

Policy

By means of the Comprehensive Security Framework Note of March 30-31st, 2004, the Belgian Government had committed itself to assessing the whole set of laws of 1995 and 2000 in the matter of morals as well as certain related legal instruments. At the request of a former Minister of Justice, an assessment study of the aforementioned laws of 1995 and 2000 was therefore carried out by the Department of Criminal Policy.

The law of November 30th, 2011 was passed as a result of the special commission related to the approach of sexual abuse and facts of paedophilia within a power relationship, in particular within the church. This law made it among others possible to punish persons who gain access to child pornography in the same way as those who own child pornography images. The law also extended the period of limitation for sexual offences with minors from 10 to 15 years. It made audiovisual recordings compulsory when hearing minor victims and extended the right to speak for persons who come into contact with children in the exercise of their profession.

The General Policy Document of Justice of December 27th, 2012, pays particular attention to the victims of sexual abuse in the light of the recommendations of the special commission related to the approach of sexual abuse.