Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang
MP for Nee Soon GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development
(a) how many women and girls have been detained in the last five years under section 160 of the Women's Charter; and
(b) in each of the last five years what has been the longest and mean duration of detention respectively.
Under Section 160 of the Women’s Charter, the Director of Social Welfare can admit a woman or girl below the age of 21 years into a place of safety for reasons such as ill treatment or moral danger. The Director of Social Welfare must be satisfied that doing so is in their best interest.
Each of such cases will be thoroughly investigated by MSF within a month of placement. To ensure that the women and girls do not remain in the place of safety unnecessarily, an independent Discharge Committee reviews such cases every six months.
Over the last five years, a total of 10 women and girls were admitted. Three of them were discharged within a month after the investigations. Seven continued their stay at the places of safety mainly because of continued protection concerns and lack of suitable caregivers. The mean duration of stay was two years, while the longest was for four years.