NEWS

Sex Offenders To Be Registered

In a major win for sexual offence victims, a Bill will be debated in Parliament in April which when passed, will register all sex offenders in Fiji. Similar to a
16 Mar 2018 10:00
Sex Offenders To Be Registered

In a major win for sexual offence victims, a Bill will be debated in Parliament in April which when passed, will register all sex offenders in Fiji.

Similar to a practice already in place in countries such as the United States of America, the Registration of Sex Offenders Bill of 2018 allows for the establishment of a register of all sex offenders.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum brought a motion in Parliament last night which called for the Bill to be tabled in the April sitting of Parliament.

The objective of the Bill is to establish a register containing information on sex offenders to reduce the risk posed by sex offenders and the rate of sexual offences in Fiji by:

  • providing specified agencies with the information needed to monitor the sex offenders in the community, including after the completion of their sentences, and
  • providing current information that assists the Fiji Police Force to rapidly resolve cases of sexual offences.

The law will also prohibit sex offenders from seeking employment in areas involving children such as early childhood (kindergarten) teachers.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Sex offenders pose a high risk of re-offending after they have been released from custody as statistics show. Registration and period reporting reduces the likelihood of sex offenders re-offending because they are being monitored. It also facilitates the investigation and prosecution of any future sexual offences.”

No member from the Opposition – neither National Federation Party nor SODELPA – made any contributions to the motion to refer this Bill to the Committee but the subsequent Bill which calls for Online Safety received immense scrutiny from both the Leader of NFP Biman Prasad and members of SODELPA, including lawyer Mosese Bulitavu.

The Bill

Any person convicted of a sexual offence will be registered in a register which will be administered by the Commissioner of Police.

The register will have details of the offenders residential address, date of birth, fingerprints, photograph, the make of vehicle that the offender is known to drive, details of the person (s) the offender resides with.

The sex offender will also need to inform the commissioner of his or her travel plans and upon return, must reach out to the nearest police station where the offender’s passport will be scrutinised and photocopied.

The sex offender will now also be required to make periodic reports to update any information and to monitor the whereabouts of the offender.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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