ATTORNEY GENERAL Faris Al-Rawi expressed concern earlier today after it was revealed that no names had been put on a sexual offenders register, despite the existence of a legal right to do so for 19 years.
The AG expressed the concern after speaking at a workshop on secret company ownership at the Hyatt Regency this morning.
“We have operationalised a whole arena for children,” Al-Rawi said, “But we need to have sex offenders treated with in a particular way. Because if you look to the statistics coming from the children’s authority and you look at the thousands of cases of child abuse reported, including children as young as 0-3 years old...babies are being abused. You need to know whether you are at risk or not.”
Among several proposals ventilated during a discussion in the Senate about new amendments to the Sexual Offences Act, Al-Rawi proposed stamping the passports of child sex offenders, adding that in time the offender could have his or her record expunged.
But NGOs and independent senators said there was a need for a joint select committee to discuss the matter further .
Al-Rawi said in response, “I listened to the contributions yesterday which were worthwhile contributions that I am sure that we could narrow during the course of the debate. But the need for a JSC is not yet apparent.”
According to the Sexual Offences Act, those found guilty of sexual offences were obligated to notify the police of their names or any other aliases, address and date of birth. That information was expected to be logged in a registrer.
Yesterday Al-Rawi said the law has been in existence since 2000, but no sexual offenders have ever been logged.