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Following the case this is no longer the situation, as only the older partner (either the person over 18 or the older adolescent of 16 - 17) is an offender.
Therefore, there is not always an obligation to report, as the researcher or healthcare worker may not have ‘knowledge’ of the person who committed the sexual offence with the 12 - 15-year-old.
In a society with high levels of intergenerational sex,10 it is possible that many healthcare workers or researchers would become aware that a sexual offence is being committed against a child if they ask them questions about their sexual partner. If a child aged 12 - 15 has sex with an older partner aged 16 - 17 there may not be more than a 2-year age gap between them or the older person will still be committing a criminal offence. Secondly, Justice Rabie specifically found that there is no need to address the constitutionality of Section 54(1)(a) of the Sexual Offences Act dealing with the mandatory reporting of sexual offences against children, as he had already found that Sections 15 and 16 were inconsistent with the Constitution (paragraph 121).1 This means that these sections will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
We submit that there are a number of mandatory reporting implications for healthcare providers and researchers working with adolescents following the case.
Based on similar arguments, other authors proposed ways of mitigating this overly broad mandatory reporting requirement.Tinder is officially 18 now, but as most parents are well aware, age limits aren't foolproof. Users sign up with Facebook and are matched based on location, mutual friends and shared interests.If you discover your child has a Tinder profile, what should you know – and what can you do? One of its most distinctive features is the way you show interest in other users – swiping right on their profile.consensual sexual penetration) even though this could have the unintended consequence of undermining the adolescent’s rights in terms of the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act.7 Given that many researchers and healthcare providers could, intentionally or by inference, become aware of a child’s sexual activity (because they lawfully asked adolescents questions about their sexual activity, identified sexually transmitted diseases, or provided HIV testing, pregnancy services or access to contraceptives) they had to decide how to respond to underage sex or sexual activity and its accompanying mandatory reporting requirements.They could either provide children with confidential sexual and reproductive health services, thus complying with the Children’s Act but ignoring the Sexual Offences Act, or they could comply with the criminal law and report to such behavior to the police, thus breaching the doctor/patient relationship and adversely affecting the researcher/participant relationship, as well as undermining a child’s sexual and reproductive rights according to legislation such as the Children’s Act.3 These provisions, and their implications for both health researchers and providers, have led to considerable debate.