(28th June, 2012) United and Strong and the AIDS Action Foundation being advocates for the reduction of stigma and discrimination against vulnerable groups, strongly condemns the reported incident in Canaries involving sexual abuse of a minor.
Stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV, sex workers, drug users, prisoners, young persons and gay, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered persons among others, is fuelled to some extent by punitive laws. United and Strong and the AIDS Action Foundation have argued for the introduction of laws to protect persons from discrimination including the decriminalization of ADULT same sex relationships.
The sexual assault of a minor whether male or female clearly falls outside of the realms of consensual behaviour. We applaud the community response in taking action and ask the authorities to ensure this process is transparent. United and Strong in their Universal Periodic Review called for a review of the laws and how it protects our boys, including stating a age limit to consenting sexual activity in the Constitution; AAF has called for a more stringent penalty for anyone who commits an act against a minor and that they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
At all times our message NEEDS to be clear, ZERO tolerance for perpetrators of any form of violence or abuse. We need to protect our children and our communities need to continue playing a role, as does Government.