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Sex offenders’ register for parts of Caribbean

October 26, 2022
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CMC – Parliament has given the green light to legislation allowing for the names of convicted sexual offenders to be publicly listed in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Sexual Offenders Registry Bill 2022 , will, apart from having the convicted offenders’ names being publicly listed, also allow for other pertinent information like their date of birth, nationality, current home address and workplace so as to make the public aware that a sexual predator may be in the area.

It aims to reduce incidents of sexual reoffending by monitoring convicted sex offenders and by sharing information with participating jurisdictions within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The two opposition legislators, including the Opposition Leader, Jamale Pringle, both supported the legislation.

Member for Barbuda, Trevor Walker, who had previously expressed concerns about the legislation, agreed that sexual offences should not be trivialised, advising that legislation as impactful and sensitive as this should not be implemented due to emotion, but through practical and thorough discussions.

He said that while victims’ rights should be protected, there should be some measure of caution when posting the names of convicted persons as it “may not leave room for someone to rehabilitate”.

Health, Wellness and Environment Minister, Sir Molwyn Joseph told legislators that the passage of the Bill was needed to “send a message to all men and women” who commit these sorts of crimes, that enough is enough.

“If we don’t do something, people will take justice into their hands,” he warned of the legislation that was first introduced in the Parliament here on July 19.

The Bill proposes that people 18 years and older who are convicted of rape by a court in Antigua and Barbuda, or within the OECS namely, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, be named in a registry, which can later be used to identify potential predators.

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