Sunvoice

Editorial: There is a need for Sex Offenders Registry

On January 4 last year, Fiji Sun had raised a question through this very column on whether there was a need for Sex Offenders Registry. On Thursday night, a motion
17 Mar 2018 11:14
Editorial: There is a need for Sex Offenders Registry

On January 4 last year, Fiji Sun had raised a question through this very column on whether there was a need for Sex Offenders Registry.

On Thursday night, a motion to refer the Registration of Sex Offenders Bill 2018 to the Standing Committee was passed in Parliament.

The motion was moved by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Is there a need for such a Register? Yes, there is.

This is nothing peculiar to Fiji. United States of America has a similar law and they are rather tough on the enforcement of it.

As highlighted previously in America, through a website, www.nsopw.gov  people can know if there is a registered sex offender living in their neighbourhood. They can also find out the identity of the perpetrator.

Also, convicted paedophiles are not allowed to live near schools, day care centres, have access to toys which they could use to entice children or be allowed access to the internet.

In Fiji we will not allow the general public to have access to the register, but those listed on it will not be allowed to hold jobs involving children.

In South Korea, through their website (http://www.sexoffender.go.kr) people can know who is a registered sex offender. And, their details such as where they work, their car registration number is all available.

In Fiji, the register will also have details of the car the sex offender is known to drive, their exact residential address, postal address, the mobile phone network provider they use and their phone number.

In countries such as Australia, the register with DNA details are kept to assist Police in ruling out sex offenders in new sexual assault and rape cases.

Our register will be administered by the Commissioner of Police. Our judges and magistrates will inform a person convicted of a sex crime the need to provide all their details to be entered in the register and upon his or her release from prisons, the Corrections Commissioner is required to provide all their details again to the register. The sex offender will need to periodically go to their nearest police station and update any information.

Failure to update their information is also a punishable offence.

While the register that South Africa keeps is for employers and government officials to do background checks on people, in Fiji, there has to be a genuine need for an organisation to access the register.

In the coming days, the Standing Committee for Justice, Law and Human Rights will be opening up to receive public submissions on the Bill. This is your chance to have a say in ensuring this Bill is passed.

Victims of sex crimes live with this ordeal for the rest of their lives. It is only right that the sex offenders are monitored after serving their term in prisons as well. We cannot afford to have repeat sex offenders in Fiji.

JYOTI PRATIBHA

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper