The House of Representatives of the Republic of Somaliland has today approved the law of rape and other violations act for the second time.
The bill, which passed parliament’s upper house on 6th June, also criminalises other forms of gender violence such as forced marriage, trafficking for sexual slavery and sexual harassment.
The second draft of the rape act came after it was amended by the House of Elders, but the House of Representatives opposed the adoption.
The civil society groups in Somaliland have already called on parliament to make no amendments to the rape act.
Rapists in Somaliland face up to 25 years in jail after the break-away conservative Islamic region passed its first law against rape in a drive to combat gender violence.
This bill provides both procedural provisions to support managing sexual offences and substantive provisions on the punishments of the offences.
However, they stressed that the government would need to ensure people knew about the law and that adequate resources be provided to ensure law enforcement agencies and the judiciary implemented and enforced it.