Sex with children under the age of 13 could be punished with life imprisonment if a new bill is passed by Vanuatu's parliament.
The Vanuatu Daily Post reports the new penalty is contained in the Penal Code Amendment Bill which will be considered by lawmakers next month.
If approved it will be the first time a penalty of life imprisonment has been set for any criminal conduct in Vanuatu.
The new law also seeks to raise sentences for incest, abduction and assault.
The billl aims to impose sufficient penalties to deter offenders.
It follows an increasing number of serious sexual offences in Vanuatu, including offending against minors and incest.