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article imageHonduras looks to lower age of criminal responsibility to under 18

By AFP     May 8, 2017 in Crime

Faced with one of the worst levels of crime in the world, Honduras is looking to lower the age of criminal responsibility to under 18.

The review, announced by President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Monday, is because of the high proportion of crimes carried out by minors.

"Nearly 40 percent of high-impact crimes have minors involved," Hernandez told a news conference. "This is alarming."

Currently in Honduras, only persons aged over 18 can be charged with a felony. Those younger risk only "infractions," or misdemeanors, with punishment served in juvenile detention centers rather than prisons.

The government review will call on a panel of lawyers and sociologists to see whether minors should be treated the same as adults for serious crimes, as happens in other countries.

The panel will also examine whether existing detention centers should be reformed to create some better suited to rehabilitation and social reinsertion.

The president did not suggest an age at which a minor could be considered responsible as an adult for a crime.

Honduras is one of the countries with the worst crime rates in the world. It has around 60 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, far higher than the global average of 8.9 given by the World Health Organization.

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