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Vanuatu Women's Council says life sentence should apply to sex with under 16s

The National Council of Women in Vanuatu says sexual intercourse with children under 16 should be punishable with a life sentence.

RNZ reports Parliament is due to soon debate a new law which proposes to introduce a life sentence for sex with children aged under 13.

But National Council of Women Executive Director Leiasmanu Cullwick said the age should be higher.

"Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen they are still children as far as we are concerned, and very vulnerable, the trauma that is inflicted on these children is immense," said Leiasmanu Cullwick.

Ms Cullwick said they are sad they were not consulted about the new legislation but believed there was still a chance the age limit can be amended.

She said they support tougher sentences for crimes such as incest, abduction, and assault which are also proposed in the bill.

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