The following is an outline of the rights and obligations flowing out of the “160 Girls” court decision.

Rights belonging to girls/children and defilement victims

  • Right to be treated equally and without discrimination (including a right to be equally protected by the law; a right to not be discriminated against by police on the basis of sex of age) (Constitution, art. 27)
  • Right to be treated with dignity and respect (Constitution, art. 28)
  • Right to be free from violence, and to be protected from all forms of violence and abuse (Constitution, art. 29 and 53)
  • Right to access justice, including the right to have defilement cases properly investigated and perpetrators arrested, brought to court, and put in jail (Constitution, Art. 48)
  • Right to report defilement and get help from police, without paying for police services;
  • Right to obtain a P3 form from police free of charge; Right to medical treatment for defilement, free of charge.

Obligations of Police

  • Respect, at all times, the rights of girls and defilement victims; Treat girls and defilement victims equally and with dignity and respect (Constitution, art. 21, 27, 28, 53, 244)
  • Treat defilement cases seriously.
  • Conduct prompt, effective, proper, and professional investigations into defilement.
  • Ensure that defilement laws are enforced by investigating, making arrests, and putting perpetrators in jail.
  • Must not ask for payment for fulfillment of any police duties, including payment for issuance of P3 Form and payment for motor vehicle fuel.
  • Respond to defilement with the highest standards of professionalism (Constitution, art, 244)
  • Deter defilement by ensuring that every perpetrator of defilement is punished; Send a message to the community that defilement is a serious crime with serious consequences.
  • Take action against perpetrators who threaten defilement victims or their families.
  • Do not discontinue a defilement case without seeking the advice of the Attorney General (Sexual Offences Act, s. 40)

Obligations of Community Members

  • Report all incidents of defilement to police.
  • Support defilement victims with any assistance they may need.
  • Cooperate with police; provide police with assistance that may help police to apprehend and arrest the perpetrator.
  • Always take actions that are in the best interests of the child.
  • Do not tamper with evidence, take bribes from the perpetrator, intimidate witnesses or take any other actions that could interfere with police investigations (this is a criminal offence/obstruction of justice).
  • Report any threats received by the perpetrator to police (or any attempts by the perpetrator to interfere with police investigations).