Malaysian cabinet approves draft legislation to include online child abuse in definition of child sex crimes.

In the aftermath of the highly publicised case of a British paedophile convicted on 71 charges of sex abuse against children in Malaysia and Cambodia the Malaysian cabinet aims to make online child sex abuse a crime and to set up special courts to deal with cases quickly.

Richard Huckle was convicted in June 2016 by a London court and sentenced to 22 life sentences. The Malaysian public was widely shocked by the case and highly critical on social media of the effectiveness of child protection laws and their enforcement in the country.Most complaints of child sexual abuse do not lead to successful prosecutions due to weaknesses in the criminal justice system. This recent case has prompted government to look to strengthen its laws in this area. The proposed bill will appear before parliament in March.

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